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A Field Experiment in Motivating Employee Ideas

Michael Gibbs (), Susanne Neckermann and Christoph Siemroth

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2017, vol. 99, issue 4, 577-590

Abstract: We study a field experiment at a large technology company. Employees were encouraged to submit ideas on process and product improvements. The company randomly assigned nineteen teams into treatment and control groups. Treatment team employees received rewards if their ideas were approved. Nothing changed for control team employees. Our main finding is that rewards substantially increased the quality of ideas. Rewards increased participation in the suggestion system but decreased ideas per participating employee, with no net effect on the quantity of ideas. Broader participation persisted after the reward was discontinued, suggesting habituation. We find no evidence for motivational crowding out.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: A Field Experiment in Motivating Employee Ideas (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: A Field Experiment in Motivating Employee Ideas (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: A field experiment in motivating employee ideas (2014) Downloads
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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