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Multitasking and the Benefits of Objective Performance Measurement - Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Sliwka, Dirk
  • Manthei, Kathrin

Abstract

We examine the benefits of objective performance measurement in a field experiment conducted in a retail bank. At the outset objective performance measures of pro fits in each branch were only available on the branch level and managers allocated bonuses to their employees based on subjective assessments. In a subset of the branches, managers then obtained access to individual performance measures. We find a significant positive impact of objective performance measurement on effort and financial performance. This productivity increase is mainly driven by larger branches and higher sales for non-core products which is well in line with a formal economic model on the optimal allocation of monitoring efforts under subjective evaluations in multitask environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Sliwka, Dirk & Manthei, Kathrin, 2013. "Multitasking and the Benefits of Objective Performance Measurement - Evidence from a Field Experiment," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79968, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79968
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 417-458.
    2. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2009. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence From Personnel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1047-1094, July.
    3. Johannes Berger & Christine Harbring & Dirk Sliwka, 2013. "Performance Appraisals and the Impact of Forced Distribution--An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(1), pages 54-68, June.
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    5. Englmaier, Florian & Roider, Andreas & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The Role of Salience in Performance Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2007. "Incentives for Managers and Inequality among Workers: Evidence from a Firm-Level Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 729-773.
    7. Tanjim Hossain & John A. List, 2012. "The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(12), pages 2151-2167, December.
    8. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2011. "Field Experiments with Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 63-82, Summer.
    9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    10. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert, 1993. "Discretion and bias in performance evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 355-365, April.
    11. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-978, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Breu, Maximilian, 2017. "Focusing Attention in Multiple Tasks," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168264, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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