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Social Exchange and Common Agency in Organizations

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  • R Dur
  • H.J. Roelfsema

Abstract

We study the relation between formal incentives and social exchange in organizations where employees work for several managers and reciprocate to a manager's attention with higher effort. To this end, we develop a common agency model with two-sided moral hazard. We show that when effort is contractible and attention is not, the first-best can be achieved through bonus pay for both managers and employees. When neither effort nor attention are contractible, an `attention race' arises, as each manager tries to sway the employee's effort his way. While this may result in too much social exchange, the attention race may also be a blessing because it alleviates managers' moral-hazard problem inattention provision. Lastly, we derive the implications of these contract imperfections for the optimal number of managers that share one employee.

Suggested Citation

  • R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2006. "Social Exchange and Common Agency in Organizations," Working Papers 06-11, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0611
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    Cited by:

    1. Mertins, Vanessa & Egbert, Henrik & Könen, Tanja, 2013. "The effects of individual judgments about selection procedures: Results from a power-to-resist game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 112-120.
    2. Graham Mallard, 2014. "Static Common Agency And Political Influence: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 17-35, February.
    3. Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Roelfsema, Hein, 2010. "Reciprocity and incentive pay in the workplace," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 676-686, August.
    4. Benedetto Gui & Luca Stanca, 2010. "Happiness and relational goods: well-being and interpersonal relations in the economic sphere," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 57(2), pages 105-118, June.
    5. Marco Kleine & Pascal Langenbach & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "How Voice Shapes Reactions to Impartial Decision- Makers: An Experiment on Participation Procedures," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_11, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Feb 2017.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6913 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social exchange; reciprocity; incentive contracts; common agency; organizational design;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices

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