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The Benefits of Aggregate Performance Metrics in the Presence of Career Concerns

  • Anil Arya

    ()

    (Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210)

  • Brian Mittendorf

    ()

    (Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210)

Registered author(s):

    This paper considers the desirability of aggregate performance measures in light of the fact that many individuals' performance incentives are driven by a desire to shape external perceptions (and thus future pay). In contrast to the case of explicit incentive contracts, we find that when individuals' actions are driven by career incentives, an aggregate measure (e.g., group or team output) can sometimes alleviate moral hazard concerns and improve efficiency. Aggregation intermingles performance measures that may be differentially affected by skill and effort of many agents. When such entanglement increases the prospect that the external market will attribute an employee's effort-driven contribution to transferable skills, the employee exerts higher effort as a means of posturing to the market. The incentive benefit of aggregation is weighed against the incentive cost because of information loss. Information loss from aggregation can reduce the market's reliance on the measure and thus diminish agents' desire to undertake effort to influence the measure. This paper was accepted by Stefan Reichelstein, accounting.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1110.1363
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1424-1437

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:57:y:2011:i:8:p:1424-1437
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    1. Gigler, Frank & Hemmer, Thomas, 2002. "Informational costs and benefits of creating separately identifiable operating segments," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 69-90, February.
    2. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
    3. Meyer, Margaret A & Vickers, John, 1995. "Performance Comparisons and Dynamic Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 1107, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 439, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    5. Emmanuelle Auriol & Guido Friebel & Lambros Pechlivanos, 2002. "Career Concerns in Teams," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(2), pages 289-307, Part.
    6. Milbourn, Todd T & Shockley, Richard L & Thakor, Anjan V, 2001. "Managerial Career Concerns and Investments in Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 334-51, Summer.
    7. Oddvar M. Kaarb√łe & Trond E. Olsen, 2006. "Career Concerns, Monetary Incentives and Job Design," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 299-316, 07.
    8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Moral Hazard and Renegotiation in Agency Contracts," Working papers 494, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    9. Florian Ederer, 2010. "Feedback and Motivation in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 733-769, 09.
    10. Bengt Holmstrom & Joan Ricart i Costa, 1986. "Managerial Incentives and Capital Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 835-860.
    11. Madhav V. Rajan & Bharat Sarath, 1997. "The Value of Correlated Signals in Agencies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(1), pages 150-167, Spring.
    12. Arya, Anil & Fellingham, John & Glover, Jonathan, 1997. "Teams, repeated tasks, and implicit incentives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 7-30, May.
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