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Shirking and Motivation in Firms: Survey Evidence on Worker Attitudes

  • Lanse Minkler

    (University of Connecticut)

In an extensive national survey, 82.7% of the respondents report that they are very likely to keep an agreement to work hard if they agreed to, even if it was almost impossible for their employer to monitor them. Based on mean responses, the rank order of motivations in descending importance is: moral, intrinsic, peer-pressure, and positive incentives. Respondents also report that fairness considerations are important and that they are especially likely to keep agreements to do a good job with honest employers. Logit analysis indicates that increases in moral and intrinsic motivations increase the likelihood of keeping agreements to provide effort. The evidence suggests that we need to re-examine a foundational assumption underlying the theory of the firm.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2002-37.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2002-37
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