Mission, Motivation, and the Active Decision to Work for a Social Cause
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly,
The mission of a job affects the type of worker attracted to an organization but may also provide incentives to an existing workforce. We conducted a natural field experiment with 246 short-term workers. We randomly allocated some of these workers to either a prosocial or a commercial job. Our data suggest that the mission of a job has a performance-enhancing motivational impact on particular individuals only, those with a prosocial attitude. However, the mission is very important if it has been actively selected. Those workers who have chosen to contribute to a social cause outperform the ones randomly assigned to the same job by about half a standard deviation. This effect seems to be a universal phenomenon that is not driven by information about the alternative job, the choice itself, or a particular subgroup.
Gift-Exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization,
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behavior, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters will increase as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that citizens’ intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when they learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. However, we find a substantial heterogeneity in the observed treatment effects. Individuals with a high reciprocal inclination show higher willingness to contribute time, while individuals with a lower reciprocal inclination are ready to contribute money after learning about the refugees' good deeds. Information regarding the possibility to establish a mutual support relationship with the refugees does not generally increase the willingness to contribute time or money beyond the information on refugees’ general contributions to the society. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behavior.
The maths behind gut decisions First carefully weigh up the costs and benefits and then make a rational...
“The Good News about Bad News”: Information about Past Organizational Failure and Its Impact on Worker Productivity
Failure in organizations is very common. Little is known about whether leaders should provide information about past organizational failure to followers and how this might affect their future performance. We conducted a field experiment in which we recruited temporary workers to carry out a phone campaign to attract new volunteers and randomly assigned them to either receive or not to receive information about a failed mail campaign pursuing the same goal. We find that informed workers performed better, regardless of whether they had previously worked on the failed mail campaign or not. Evidence from a second field experiment with students asked to support voluntarily a campaign for reducing food waste corroborates the finding. We explore the role of leadership tactics behind our findings in a third online survey experiment. We conclude that information about past failure is unlikely to have a negative impact on work performance, and might even lead to performance improvement. Implications for future research on the relevance of leadership tactics when giving such information are discussed.
IWH Doctoral Programme in Economics
Why Doctoral Studies at IWH? ...
Ehrenamtliches Engagement von Flüchtlingen zur Förderung sozialer Integration
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Die soziale Integration von Flüchtlingen kann einen substanziellen Beitrag zu deren ökonomischer Integration leisten, häufig sind negative Einstellungen der Bevölkerung gegenüber ethnischen Minderheiten aber ein Schlüsselfaktor für Integrationsprobleme. Die Förderung ehrenamtlichen Engagements von Flüchtlingen könnte eine Lösung darstellen und
den Integrationsprozess positiv beeinflussen. Basierend auf den Daten dreier unterschiedlicher Experimente zeigt dieser Beitrag, dass Einheimische in höherem Maße bereit sind, die Integration von Flüchtlingen persönlich oder finanziell zu unterstützen, wenn sich Flüchtlinge an ihrem neuen Wohnort gesellschaftlich engagieren. Natürlich findet sich eine gewisse Heterogenität hinsichtlich der Neigung, eher persönlich oder eher finanziell zu unterstützen. Für die unterschiedlichsten Personengruppen gilt aber, dass ehrenamtliches Flüchtlingsengagement zumindest auf eine dieser beiden Optionen einen positiven Effekt ausübt.
Measuring the Indirect Effects of Adverse Employer Behaviour on Worker Productivity – A Field Experiment
We conduct a field experiment to study how worker productivity is affected if employers act adversely towards their co-workers. Our employees work for two shifts in a call centre. In our main treatment, we lay off some workers before the second shift. Compared to two control treatments, we find that the lay-off reduces the productivity of unaffected workers by 12%. We find suggestive evidence that this result is not driven by altered beliefs about the job or the management’s competence, but caused by the workers’ perception of unfair employer behaviour. The latter interpretation is confirmed in a prediction experiment with professional HR managers. Our results suggest that the price for adverse employer behaviour goes well beyond the potential tit for tat of directly affected workers.
Transformation tables for administrative borders in Germany
Transformation tables for administrative borders in Germany The state has the ability...
Wage Delegation in the Field
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
By conducting a natural field experiment, we analyze the managerial policy of delegating the wage choice to employees. We find that this policy enhances performance significantly, which is remarkable since allocated wage premiums of the same size have no effect at all. Observed self‐imposed wage restraints and absence of negative peer effects speak in favor of wage delegation, although the chosen wage premium levels severely dampen its net value. Additional experimental and survey data provide important insights into employees' underlying motivations.