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Relationship among effort, performance, motivation and incentives in social cooperative


  • Marco Musella
  • Roberta Troisi


Under the heading of "social cooperatives" Italian law gathers peculiar kinds of cooperatives firms. In particular, "type A" social cooperatives bring together providers and beneficiaries of a social service as members. "Type B" social cooperatives bring together permanent workers and previously unemployed people who wish to integrate into the labour market. This paper considers social cooperatives as a typical delivery service firm suitable to study employee incentives systems characterized by "role tension" tied to the dual position of employee and owner at the same time. "Why to incentive", "What to incentive" and "How to incentive" are the questions we have attempted to solve. The answer to the first question (why to incentive) has been searched starting from the lack of employee's controllability and has led to show how an incentive system can represent an alternative to a control system. The logical path useful to answering to the second question (what to incentive) has been found in a particular reconstruction of the property right which could be more coherent with the characteristics of social cooperatives. In this way, it has been possible to demonstrate how efficient it could be for social cooperatives to prefer incentive models focused on the effort instead of the outcome of the performances. Finally, the answer to the third question (how to incentive) is linked to the rationale of the following hypothesis: employee-owners' motivation is not entirely dependent from the wage but it is also conditioned by "intrinsic incentives" and from the production/consumption of relational goods that go with the work activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Musella & Roberta Troisi, 2008. "Relationship among effort, performance, motivation and incentives in social cooperative," Economia dei Servizi, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 367-380.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j1t56u:doi:10.2382/27530:y:2008:i:3:p:367-380

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