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Managing Moral Motivations

  • Lanse Minkler

    (University of Connecticut)

Firms confront three problems: (1) shirking (sub-optimal provision of effort), (2) smooth transfer of knowledge, and (3) eliciting new knowledge. The motivations possessed by firm members are four: (a) instrumental rationality (i.e., self-interest), (b) moral motivations and integrity, (c) intrinsic motivations, and (d) fairness motivations. The trick for the firm is to manage motivations in a way that solves its particular problems. The purpose of this paper is to provide the foundations for moral motivations and moral integrity, and to discuss the kinds of problems that they can and cannot solve, particularly in context of the complex motivational mix.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2003-06.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-06
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  2. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Minkler, Alanson P., 1993. "Knowledge and internal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 17-30, May.
  6. Minkler, Alanson P, 1993. "The Problem with Dispersed Knowledge: Firms in Theory and Practice," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 569-87.
  7. Margit Osterloh & Bruno S. Frey, . "Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Form," IEW - Working Papers 027, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  9. Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September.
  10. Margit Osterloh & Jetta Frost & Bruno Frey, 2002. "The Dynamics of Motivation in New Organizational Forms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 61-77.
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