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Altruism, reciprocity and cooperation in the workplace

  • Rotemberg, Julio J.

This paper surveys economic models where cooperation arises in the workplace because individuals' utility functions involve a concern for others (altruism) or a desire to respond to like with like (reciprocity). It also discusses empirical evidence which bears on the relevance of these theories. The paper considers separately the feelings employees have for their employers or their supervisors, those that employees have for others that occupy similar positions as themselves and the feelings of supervisors towards their subordinates. Altruism appears to play a role in the last two settings while reciprocity seems useful to explain the way employees react to employer actions which the employees regard as unfair.

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This chapter was published in:
  • S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2, 00.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism with number 2-21.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:givchp:2-21
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description

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