Pro-Social Missions and Worker Motivation: An Experimental Study
Sebastian Fehrler () and
Michael Kosfeld ()
No 6460, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Do employees work harder if their job has the right mission? In a laboratory labor market experiment, we test whether subjects provide higher effort if they can choose the mission of their job. We observe that subjects do not provide higher effort than in a control treatment. Surprised by this finding, we run a second experiment in which subjects can choose whether they want to work on a job with their preferred mission or not. A subgroup of agents (roughly one third) is willing to do so even if this option is more costly than choosing the alternative job. Moreover, we find that these subjects provide substantially higher effort. These results suggest that relatively few workers can be motivated by missions and that selection into mission-oriented organizations is important to explain empirical findings of lower wages and high motivation in the latter.
Keywords: lab experiment; motivation; effort provision; contract choice; sorting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 J33 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-soc
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Published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2014, 100, 99-110
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Journal Article: Pro-social missions and worker motivation: An experimental study (2014)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6460
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