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Improving Worker Productivity Through Tailored Performance Feedback: Field Experimental Evidence from Bus Drivers

Author

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  • Romensen, Gert-Jan
  • Soetevent, Adriaan R.

Abstract

Can the design and intensity of performance feedback be used to improve worker productivity? We analyze two forms of feedback in a sample of 409 drivers at a large Dutch bus company: written peer-comparison reports and in-person coaching by high-achieving peers. We experimentally vary the nature and number of peer-comparison messages that drivers receive in their written feedback report. We exploit the quasi-experimental variation in the in-person coaching program implemented in parallel to the written feedback to analyze its effects. We find no effect of the announcement and introduction of the company's written feedback program on fuel efficiency. Including peer-comparison messages into these reports is generally ineffective in improving either fuel economy or outcomes pertaining to passenger comfort. In-person coaching however generates significant improvements on all dimensions for drivers in the bottom half of the performance distribution for about eight weeks. In-person coaching weakens the impact of written peer-comparison feedback but not vice versa.

Suggested Citation

  • Romensen, Gert-Jan & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2021. "Improving Worker Productivity Through Tailored Performance Feedback: Field Experimental Evidence from Bus Drivers," EconStor Preprints 246811, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:246811
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/246811/1/ArrivaNov21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor productivity; feedback; peer comparisons; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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