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.
“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-DPE Call for Applications – Fall 2022 Intake
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IWH Doctoral Programme in Economics
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IWH Bankruptcy Update: Still No Indication of Impending Bankruptcy Wave Considerably faster than the official...
Why Is there Resistance to Works Councils In Germany? An Economic Perspective
Economic and Industrial Democracy,
Recent empirical research generally finds evidence of positive economic effects for works councils, for example with regard to productivity and – with some limitations – to profits. This makes it necessary to explain why employers’ associations have reservations about works councils. On the basis of an in-depth literature analysis, this article shows that beyond the generally positive findings, there are important heterogeneities in the impact of works councils. The authors argue that those groups of employers that tend to benefit little from employee participation in terms of productivity and profits may well be important enough to shape the agenda of their employers’ organization and have even gained in importance within their organizations in recent years. The authors also discuss the role of deviations from profit-maximizing behavior like risk aversion, short-term profit-maximization and other non-pecuniary motives, as possible reasons for employer resistance.
The maths behind gut decisions First carefully weigh up the costs and benefits and then make a rational...
IWH FDI Micro Database
IWH FDI Micro Database The IWH FDI Micro Database (FDI = Foreign Direct...
11.02.2019 • 3/2019
No-deal Brexit would hit the German labour market particularly hard
The United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal would have consequences for international trade and labour markets in many countries, including outside Europe. Calculations by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) indicate: More than 600,000 jobs may be affected worldwide, but nowhere as many as in Germany.
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