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Mission, motivation, and the active decision to work for a social cause

Sabrina Jeworrek () and Vanessa Mertins ()

No 10/2019, IWH Discussion Papers from Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH)

Abstract: The mission of a job does not only affect the type of worker attracted to an organisation, but may also provide incentives to an existing workforce. We conducted a natural field experiment with 267 short-time workers and randomly allocated them to either a prosocial or a commercial job. Our data suggest that the mission of a job itself has a performance enhancing motivational impact on particular individuals only, i.e., workers with a prosocial attitude. However, the mission is very important if it has been actively selected. Those workers who have chosen to contribute to a social cause outperform the ones randomly assigned to the same job by about 15 percent. This effect seems to be a universal phenomenon which is not driven by information about the alternative job, the choice itself or a particular subgroup.

Keywords: active decision; cognitive dissonance theory; field experiment; mission; performance; prosocial work (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 J33 M52 M55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-hrm and nep-lma
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:102019

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