IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v160y2019icp214-229.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Incentives for public goods inside organizations: Field experimental evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Blasco, Andrea
  • Jung, Olivia S.
  • Lakhani, Karim R.
  • Menietti, Michael

Abstract

Understanding why employees go the extra mile at work is a key problem for many organizations. We conduct a field experiment at a medical organization to study motivations for employees to submit project proposals for organizational improvement. In total, we analyze 1237 employees, 118 proposals, and quality evaluations for more than 12,000 evaluator-proposal pairs. The analysis shows that solicitations offering a personal reward for top submissions boost participation rates without affecting submission quality. We show that this is due to workers partially internalizing the positive effects of their submissions on the other individuals in the workplace. We also find that offering employees project funding to implement their own proposals potentially backfires, undermining participation. And solicitations emphasizing mission-oriented goals, like improving patient care, are sensitive to the solicited person’s gender, with women responding more than men. These results shed light on the factors that drive employees’ engagement in organizational tasks, beyond regular duties, and provide insights on how to design incentives to foster contributions to public goods inside organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Blasco, Andrea & Jung, Olivia S. & Lakhani, Karim R. & Menietti, Michael, 2019. "Incentives for public goods inside organizations: Field experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 214-229.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:160:y:2019:i:c:p:214-229
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.02.029
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119300599
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 417-458.
    3. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
    4. Kevin J. Boudreau & Karim R. Lakhani & Michael Menietti, 2016. "Performance responses to competition across skill levels in rank-order tournaments: field evidence and implications for tournament design," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(1), pages 140-165, February.
    5. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Joeri Sol & Willem Verbeke, 2013. "Tournament Incentives in the Field: Gender Differences in the Workplace," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 305-326.
    6. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    7. Florian Ederer & Gustavo Manso, 2013. "Is Pay for Performance Detrimental to Innovation?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(7), pages 1496-1513, July.
    8. John Morgan, 2000. "Financing Public Goods by Means of Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 761-784.
    9. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2005. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 616-636, June.
    10. Stefano DellaVigna & John List & Ulrike Malmendier & Gautam Rao, 2016. "Estimating Social Preferences and Gift Exchange at Work," Natural Field Experiments 00586, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Canice Prendergast, 2008. "Intrinsic Motivation and Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 201-205, May.
    12. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    13. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur, 2008. "Incentives and Workers' Motivation in the Public Sector," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 171-191, January.
    14. Jeffrey Carpenter & Erick Gong, 2016. "Motivating Agents: How Much Does the Mission Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 211-236.
    15. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2011. "Field Experiments with Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 63-82, Summer.
    16. Katherine Baldiga Coffman, 2014. "Evidence on Self-Stereotyping and the Contribution of Ideas," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1625-1660.
    17. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    18. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
    19. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    20. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Lee, Scott S., 2014. "Awards unbundled: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 44-63.
    21. Jordi Blanes i Vidal & Mareike Nossol, 2011. "Tournaments Without Prizes: Evidence from Personnel Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1721-1736, October.
    22. Thomas Hellmann & Veikko Thiele, 2011. "Incentives and Innovation: A Multitasking Approach," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 78-128, February.
    23. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    24. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    25. Yeon-Koo Che & Seung-Weon Yoo, 2001. "Optimal Incentives for Teams," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 525-541, June.
    26. Canice Prendergast, 2007. "The Motivation and Bias of Bureaucrats," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 180-196, March.
    27. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-1324, December.
    28. Kevin J. Boudreau & Nicola Lacetera & Karim R. Lakhani, 2011. "Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 843-863, May.
    29. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881.
    30. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    31. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Social capital in the workplace: Evidence on its formation and consequences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 724-748, August.
    32. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-179, April.
    33. O'Keeffe, Mary & Viscusi, W Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1984. "Economic Contests: Comparative Reward Schemes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 27-56, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation contests; Relative incentives; Organizational improvement; Free rider problem; Social incentives; Organization of work; Healthcare organization;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:160:y:2019:i:c:p:214-229. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.