Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2014

See all articles by Christiane Bradler

Christiane Bradler

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Susanne Neckermann

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Arjan Non

Maastricht University

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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 so 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.

Keywords: employee motivation, recognition, reciprocity, conformity, field experiment

JEL Classification: C93, M52

Suggested Citation

Bradler, Christiane and Dur, Robert and Neckermann, Susanne and Non, Arjan, Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8311. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2468487

Christiane Bradler (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

FEW / H 8-15
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31-10-4082159 (Phone)
+31-10-4089161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/dur

Tinbergen Institute

Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Susanne Neckermann

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Arjan Non

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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