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Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough

Author

Listed:
  • Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres

    () (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University)

  • Brice Corgnet

    () (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University)

  • Roberto Hernán González

    (Universidad de Granada, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History)

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to test the effectiveness of wage-irrelevant goal setting policies in a laboratory environment. In our design, managers can assign a goal to their workers by setting a certain level of performance on the work task. To establish our theoretical conjectures we develop a model where assigned goals act as reference points to workers’ intrinsic motivation, creating a sense of gain when attained and a sense of loss when not attained. Consistent with our theoretical framework, we find evidence that managers set goals that are challenging but attainable for an average-ability worker. Workers respond to these goals by increasing effort, performance and by decreasing on-the-job leisure activities with respect to the no-goal setting baseline. We study the interaction between goal setting and monetary rewards by considering different values for the monetary incentives involved in completing the task. Interestingly, we find that goal setting is especially effective when monetary incentives are strong. These results suggest that goal setting may foster workers’ intrinsic motivation and increase their level of performance beyond what is achieved using solely monetary incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres & Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán González, 2012. "Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough," Working Papers 12-24, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:155-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alexander K. Koch & Julia Nafziger, 2017. "Motivational Goal Bracketing: An Experiment," Economics Working Papers 2017-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    3. Hoffman, Mitchell & Burks, Stephen V., 2017. "Training Contracts, Employee Turnover, and the Returns from Firm-Sponsored General Training," IZA Discussion Papers 10835, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Smithers, Samuel, 2015. "Goals, motivation and gender," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 75-77.
    5. Dalton, P.S. & Gonzalez Jimenez, V.H. & Noussair, C.N., 2015. "Paying with Self-Chosen Goals : Incentives and Gender Differences," Discussion Paper 2015-021, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Max van Lent & Michiel Souverijn, 2017. "Goal Setting and Raising the Bar: A Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-001/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Goerg, Sebastian J. & Kube, Sebastian & Radbruch, Jonas, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Incentive Schemes in the Presence of Implicit Effort Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 10546, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:2:p:462-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán-González, 2015. "Revisiting the Tradeoff between Risk and Incentives: The Shocking Effect of Random Shocks," Working Papers 15-05, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    10. Burdina, Mariya & Hiller, R. Scott & Metz, Neil E., 2017. "Goal attainability and performance: Evidence from Boston marathon qualifying standards," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 77-88.
    11. Ismaël Rafaï & Mira Toumi, 2017. "Pay Attention or Be Paid for Attention? Impact of Incentives on Allocation of Attention," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-11, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    12. Brice Corgnet & Ludivine Martin & Peguy Ndodjang & Angela Sutan, 2015. "On the Merit of Equal Pay: When Influence Activities Interact with Incentive Setting," Working Papers 15-09, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intrinsic motivation; incentives; goal-setting; reference dependent preferences; virtual organizations.;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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