Verhalten in Organisationen und Unternehmenserfolg
Die Forschungsgruppe untersucht, wie sich nicht-monetäre Arbeitsplatzcharakteristika (z. B. Mitsprache am Arbeitsplatz oder die wahrgenommene Sinnhaftigkeit der Arbeitsaufgabe) und Managerentscheidungen (z. B. bezogen auf Entlassungen) auf die Motivation der Arbeitnehmer auswirken. Der methodische Schwerpunkt der Gruppe liegt auf der Durchführung von (Feld-)Experimenten. Diese ermöglichen nicht nur eine exakte Messung des Arbeitseinsatzes; vor allem können Leistungsänderungen durch konstant gehaltene Bedingungen allein auf die Intervention des Experimentators zurückgeführt werden.
ForschungsclusterInstitutionen und soziale Normen
Measuring the Indirect Effects of Adverse Employer Behaviour on Worker Productivity – A Field Experiment
in: Economic Journal, Nr. 632, 2020
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.
Wage Delegation in the Field
in: Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Nr. 4, 2019
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.
Gender Stereotypes still in MIND: Information on Relative Performance and Competition Entry
in: Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, October 2019
By conducting a laboratory experiment, I test whether the gender tournament gap diminishes in its size after providing information on the relative performance of the two genders. Indeed, the gap shrinks sizeably, it even becomes statistically insignificant. Hence, individuals’ entry decisions seem to be driven not only by incorrect self-assessments in general but also by incorrect stereotypical beliefs about the genders’ average abilities. Overconfident men opt less often for the tournament and, thereby, increase their expected payoff. Overall efficiency, however, is not affected by the intervention.
Financial Literacy and Self-employment
in: Journal of Consumer Affairs, Nr. 2, 2019
In this paper, we study the relationship between financial literacy and self‐employment. We use established financial literacy questions to measure literacy levels. The analysis shows a highly significant and positive correlation between the index and self‐employment. We address the direction of causality by applying instrumental variable techniques based on information about maternal education. We also exploit information on financial support and family background to account for concerns about the exclusion restriction. The results provide support for a positive effect of financial literacy on the probability of being self‐employed. As financial literacy is acquirable, the findings suggest that entrepreneurial activities might be increased by enhancing financial literacy.
When the Meaning of Work Has Disappeared: Experimental Evidence on Employees’ Performance and Emotions
in: Management Science, Nr. 6, 2017
This experiment tests for a causal relationship between the meaning of work and employees’ motivation to perform well. The study builds on an existing employer–employee relationship, adding realism to the ongoing research of task meaning. Owing to an unexpected project cancelation, we are able to study how varying the information provided about the meaning of previously conducted work — without the use of deception, but still maintaining a high level of control — affects subsequent performance. We observe a strong decline in exerted effort when we inform workers about the meaninglessness of a job already done. Our data also suggests that providing a supplemental alternative meaning perfectly compensates for this negative performance effect. Individual characteristics such as reciprocal inclinations and trust prompt different reactions. The data also show that the meaning of work affects workers’ emotions, but we cannot establish a clear relationship between emotional responses and performance.
Alone at Home: The Impact of Social Distancing on Norm-consistent Behavior
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 8, 2021
Around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned daily live upside down since social distancing is probably the most effective means of containing the virus until herd immunity is reached. Social norms have been shown to be an important determinant of social distancing behaviors. By conducting two experiments and using the priming method to manipulate social isolation recollections, we study whether social distancing has in turn affected norms of prosociality and norm compliance. The normative expectations of what behaviors others would approve or disapprove in our experimental setting did not change. Looking at actual behavior, however, we find that persistent social distancing indeed caused a decline in prosociality – even after the relaxation of social distancing rules and in times of optimism. At the same time, our results contain some good news since subjects seem still to care for norms and become more prosocial once again after we draw their attention to the empirical norm of how others have previously behaved in a similar situation.
Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 17, 2019
Refugee integration requires broad support from the host society, but only a minority of the host population is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, 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. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact with refu-gees. We complement this investigation with experiments in the lab and the field that confirm our findings for actual behaviour.
Crowdsourced Innovation: How Community Managers Affect Crowd Activities
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 13, 2018
In this study, we investigate whether and to what extent community managers in online collaborative communities can stimulate crowd activities through their engagement. Using a novel data set of 22 large online idea crowdsourcing campaigns, we find that active engagement of community managers positively affects crowd activities in an inverted U-shaped manner. Moreover, we evidence that intellectual stimulation by managers increases community participation, while individual consideration of users has no impact on user activities. Finally, the data reveal that community manager activities that require more effort, such as media file uploads instead of simple written comments, have a larger effect on crowd participation.