Workplace Knowledge Flows
Nathan Seegert and
Christopher T. Stanton
No 26660, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
What prevents the spread of information among coworkers, and which management practices facilitate workplace knowledge flows? We conducted a field experiment in a sales company, addressing these questions with three active treatments. (1) Encouraging workers to talk about their sales techniques with a randomly chosen partner during short meetings substantially lifted average sales revenue during and after the experiment. The largest gains occurred for those matched with high-performing coworkers. (2) Worker-pairs given incentives to increase joint output increased sales during the experiment but not afterward. (3) Worker-pairs given both treatments had little improvement above the meetings treatment alone. Managerial interventions providing structured opportunities for workers to initiate conversations with peers resulted in knowledge exchange; incentives based on joint output gains were neither necessary nor sufficient for knowledge transmission.
JEL-codes: J24 L23 M12 M5 M52 M53 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-knm and nep-lma
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Published as Jason J Sandvik & Richard E Saouma & Nathan T Seegert & Christopher T Stanton, 2020. "Workplace Knowledge Flows*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 135(3), pages 1635-1680.
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