Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2303862
 


 



Competition and Social Identity in the Workplace: Evidence from a Chinese Textile Firm


Takao Kato


Colgate University - Economics Department; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Pian Shu


Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit

July 30, 2013

Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-011

Abstract:     
We study the impact of social identity on worker competition by exploiting the exogenous variations in workers' origins and the well-documented social divide between urban resident workers and rural migrant workers in large urban Chinese firms. We collect data on weekly output, individual characteristics, and coworker composition for all weavers in an urban Chinese textile firm between April 2003 and March 2004. The firm's relative performance incentive scheme rewards a worker for outperforming her coworkers. We find that a worker does not act on the monetary incentives to outperform coworkers who share the same social identity, but does aggressively compete against coworkers with a different social identity. Our results highlight the important role of social identity in overcoming self-interest and enhancing inter-group competitions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

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Date posted: July 31, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Kato, Takao and Shu, Pian, Competition and Social Identity in the Workplace: Evidence from a Chinese Textile Firm (July 30, 2013). Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper No. 14-011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2303862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2303862

Contact Information

Takao Kato
Colgate University - Economics Department ( email )
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
United States
315-228-7562 (Phone)
315-228-7033 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Pian Shu (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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