The Moderating Effects of Task Complexity and Task Attractiveness on the Impact of Monetary Incentives in Repeated Tasks

Posted: 30 Jul 2008 Last revised: 10 Dec 2012

See all articles by Charles D. Bailey

Charles D. Bailey

James Madison University

Nick Fessler

University of Texas at Tyler

Date Written: November 2, 2008

Abstract

This study examines the interactive effects of task complexity and attractiveness on the effectiveness of explicit monetary incentives in promoting task performance. We provide theory for and find an interaction such that monetary incentives are more effective when tasks are less complex, but only when the task is viewed as relatively unattractive. In addition, by varying task complexity, this study extends Bailey et al. (1998), finding that when incentive pay leads to higher performance, it is through faster initial performance, not faster improvement

Keywords: Monetary incentives, Task attractiveness, Performance, Learning, Task characteristics

JEL Classification: M52

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Charles D. and Fessler, Nick, The Moderating Effects of Task Complexity and Task Attractiveness on the Impact of Monetary Incentives in Repeated Tasks (November 2, 2008). Journal of Management Accounting Research, Vol. 23, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1186422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1186422

Charles D. Bailey (Contact Author)

James Madison University ( email )

Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States
901 484-0867 (Phone)

Nick Fessler

University of Texas at Tyler ( email )

Tyler, TX
United States
903-565-5733 (Phone)

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