Motivating Through Delegating Tasks or Giving Attention

Posted: 23 Jun 2008

See all articles by Otto H. Swank

Otto H. Swank

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

Bauke Visser

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

An important role of managers is to motivate subordinates. Monetary rewards have been the focus of economic analysis. Managers also use other means to influence subordinates. If a manager can better assess the subordinate's ability than the subordinate himself, and if ability and effort are complements, the manager finds it hard not to overstate a junior's ability. Talk is cheap. We analyze under what conditions a manager can use organizational practices such as delegation and the selective provision of attention to credibly communicate his assessment. We compare their desirability. Delegation is preferable in case the manager's assessment is fairly accurate; attention is inescapable if it is inaccurate.

Suggested Citation

Swank, Otto H. and Visser, Bauke, Motivating Through Delegating Tasks or Giving Attention (October 2007). The Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 731-742, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1150025 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jleo/ewm020

Otto H. Swank (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 4081448 (Phone)
+31 10 2120551 (Fax)

Bauke Visser

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+ 31 (0)10 40 81449 (81441) (Phone)
+ 31 (0)10 40 89149 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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