Does Motivation Trigger Autonomy, or Vice Versa?
Do firms use autonomy to motivate workers, or do they give autonomous jobs to workers who are already especially motivated? A standard result in economics is that firms offer autonomous jobs to promote worker motivation. But surprisingly, little attention has been given to the details of this practice of giving autonomy to especially motivated workers. In contrast, findings from social psychology demonstrate that how people handle new information is closely related to what motivates them. Does autonomy in fact trigger motivation? I argue in this study that motivation may trigger autonomy, and thus that firms may benefit from screening for intrinsically motivated workers. I assume that workers differ in their degree of motivation, and that motivated workers have a lower cost of processing information than unmotivated ones. While motivated workers concentrate on searching for available information, unmotivated ones focus on ignoring certain information as irrelevant. Therefore, firms would gain efficiency from giving the more motivated workers a higher degree of autonomy. This link between autonomy and motivation also has implications for non-monetary aspects of the job, such as forms of leadership style and job design.
|Date of creation:||10 Oct 2005|
|Date of revision:||13 Oct 2005|
|Note:||Type of Document - pdf; pages: 27|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James J. Heckman, 1977.
"Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System,"
NBER Working Papers
0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-959, July.
- Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002.
"Psychological Foundations of Incentives,"
IZA Discussion Papers
507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 714, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," Microeconomics 0305010, EconWPA.
- Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, "undated". "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-364, May.
- Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-755, September.
- Jan Zabojnik, 2002. "Centralized and Decentralized Decision Making in Organizations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-22, January.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994.
"Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,"
IDEI Working Papers
37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 95-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Philippe Aghion & Jean Tirole, 1994. "Normal and Real Authority in Organizations," Working papers 94-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Scholarly Articles 4554125, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
- Frey, Bruno S., 1997. "On the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 427-439, July.
- Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0510004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.