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What drives motivated agents? The 'right' mission or sharing it with the principal

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  • Tobias Regner

    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Hannes Koppel

    (Alfred Weber Institute of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

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 care not only about the mission as such but also whether the principal shares this mission. Our analysis estimates the additional effect of a mission preference match to be as big as the effect of just working for the right 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 the economics of identity in labor market settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Regner & Hannes Koppel, 2015. "What drives motivated agents? The 'right' mission or sharing it with the principal," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-022, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2015-022
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Social Responsibility; experiment; labor market; incentives; principal agent; identity; mission; motivated agents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • 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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