Self-Managed Working Time and Employee Effort: Microeconometric Evidence

45 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2014

See all articles by Michael Beckmann

Michael Beckmann

University of Freiburg - Personnel and Organizational Economics

Thomas Cornelissen

University College London

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

Based on German individual-level panel data, this paper empirically examines the impact of self-managed working time (SMWT) on employee effort. Theoretically, workers may respond positively or negatively to having control over their own working hours, depending on whether SMWT increases work morale, induces reciprocal work intensification, or encourages employee shirking. We find that SMWT employees exert higher effort levels than employees with fixed working hours, but after accounting for observed and unobserved characteristics and for endogeneity, there remains only a modest positive effect. This effect is mainly driven by employees who have a strong work ethic, suggesting that intrinsic motivation is complementary to SMWT. Moreover, reciprocal work intensification does not seem to be an important channel of providing extra effort. Finally, we find no SMWT effect among women with children in need of parental care indicating that these workers primarily choose SMWT to accommodate family obligations.

Keywords: Self-managed working time, employee effort, reciprocity, work ethic, intrinsic motivation, family obligations, complementarity

JEL Classification: J24; J81; M50

Suggested Citation

Beckmann, Michael and Cornelissen, Thomas, Self-Managed Working Time and Employee Effort: Microeconometric Evidence (February 2014). SOEPpaper No. 636. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2407971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2407971

Michael Beckmann (Contact Author)

University of Freiburg - Personnel and Organizational Economics ( email )

Platz der Alten Synagoge
D-79085 Freiburg
Germany
++49 761 203-2392 (Phone)
++49 761 203-2394 (Fax)

Thomas Cornelissen

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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