Tournaments and unfair treatment
This paper introduces the negative feelings associated with the perception of being unfairly treated into a tournament model and examines the impact of these perceptions on workers' efforts and their willingness to work overtime. The effect of unfair treatment on workers' behavior is ambiguous in the model in that two countervailing effects arise: a negative impulsive effect and a positive strategic effect. The impulsive effect implies that workers react to the perception of being unfairly treated by reducing their level of effort. The strategic effect implies that workers raise this level in order to improve their career opportunities and thereby avoid feeling even more unfairly treated in the future. An empirical test of the model using survey data from a Swedish municipal utility shows that the overall effect is negative. This suggests that employers should consider the negative impulsive effect of unfair treatment on effort and overtime when designing contracts and determining promotions.
Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
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