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What drives motivated agents: The ‘right’ mission or sharing it with the principal?

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  • Koppel, Hannes
  • Regner, Tobias

Abstract

Motivated agents are characterized by increasing their effort, if their work generates not only a monetary return for them but also a benefit for a mission they support. While their motivation may stem from working for their preferred (i.e., the ‘right’) mission, it may also be the principal’s choice of the right mission (i.e., a mission preference match) that motivates them. We investigate experimentally to what extent these two motivations are driving the effect of a mission on agent effort. We find that agents mostly care about whether the principal shares their mission. It seems that the full potential of “motivation by mission” is realized only when principals share as well as support the agents’ mission, stressing the importance of identity aspects in labor market settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Koppel, Hannes & Regner, Tobias, 2019. "What drives motivated agents: The ‘right’ mission or sharing it with the principal?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:83:y:2019:i:c:s2214804319300084
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2019.101463
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate social responsibility; Experiment; Labor market; Principal agent; Identity; Motivated agents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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