Employee recognition and performance: a field experiment

C. Bradler, Robert Dur, S. Neckermann, Arjan Non

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
1163 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper reports the results from a controlled field experiment designed to investigate the causal effect of unannounced, public recognition on employee performance. We hired more than 300 employees to work on a three-hour data-entry task. In a random sample of work groups, workers unexpectedly received recognition after two hours of work. We find that recognition increases subsequent performance substantially, and particularly when recognition is exclusively provided to the best performers. Remarkably, workers who did not receive recognition are mainly responsible for this performance increase. Our results are consistent with workers having a preference for conformity and being reciprocal at the same time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3085-3099
Number of pages15
JournalManagement Science
Volume62
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • employee motivation
  • recognition
  • conformity
  • field experiment
  • AWARDS
  • INFORMATION
  • GIFT-EXCHANGE
  • INCENTIVE SCHEMES
  • reciprocity
  • INTRINSIC MOTIVATION
  • WORKPLACE
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • WORK
  • RECIPROCITY
  • SOCIAL NORMS

Cite this

Bradler, C., Dur, R., Neckermann, S., & Non, A. (2016). Employee recognition and performance: a field experiment. Management Science, 62(11), 3085-3099. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2015.2291