Multitasking and Subjective Performance Evaluations: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in a Bank

61 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Kathrin Manthei

Kathrin Manthei

University of Cologne

Dirk Sliwka

University of Cologne - Department of Business Administration and Human Resource Management; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study the incentive effects of grating supervisors access to objective performance information when agents work on multiple tasks. We first analyze a formal model showing that incentives are lower powered when supervisors have no access to objective measures but assess performance subjectively by gathering information. This incentive loss is more pronounced when the span of control is larger and incentives are distorted towards more profitable tasks. We then investigate a field experiment conducted in a bank. In the treatment group managers obtained access to objective performance measures which raised efforts and profits. We find that the effects are driven by larger branches and lower margin products.

Keywords: incentives, subjective performance evaluation, multitasking, field experiment, bank

JEL Classification: M52, J33, D23

Suggested Citation

Manthei, Kathrin and Sliwka, Dirk, Multitasking and Subjective Performance Evaluations: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in a Bank. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11581. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3205848

Kathrin Manthei (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Dirk Sliwka

University of Cologne - Department of Business Administration and Human Resource Management ( email )

Koln, 50923
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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