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Self-managed working time and employee effort: Theory and evidence

Michael Beckmann, Thomas Cornelissen () and Matthias Kräkel ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 133, issue C, 285-302

Abstract: This paper theoretically and empirically examines the impact of self-managed working time (SMWT) on employee effort. As a policy of increased worker autonomy, SMWT can theoretically increase effort via intrinsic motivation and reciprocal behaviour, but it can also lead to a decrease of effort due to a loss of control. Based on German individual-level panel data, we find that SMWT employees exert higher effort levels than employees with fixed working hours. Even after accounting for observed and unobserved characteristics there remains a modest positive effect. This effect is largely driven by employees who are intrinsically motivated, suggesting that intrinsic motivation is complementary to SMWT. However, reciprocal work intensification does not seem to be an important channel of providing extra effort.

Keywords: Self-managed working time; Worker autonomy; Employee effort; Reciprocity; Intrinsic motivation; Complementarity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J81 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:285-302

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