Employee Tournaments: One Size Does Not Fit All

11 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2019

See all articles by Lee Kersting

Lee Kersting

Northern Kentucky University

Robert Marley

University of Tampa

Mark J. Mellon

Northern Illinois University - Department of Accountancy

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

Suppose a manager wants to increase employee productivity by holding a tournament. Should there be a single long tournament or a series of short and repeated tournaments? Well, it depends. It’s important to first assess whether employees are of similar ability levels or varied ability levels. If employees have relatively similar ability, it is less important whether a manager holds a single long tournament or a series of short and repeated tournaments than if employees have relatively varied abilities. If employees have relatively different ability levels, employee productivity is generally greater with a series of short and repeated tournaments. If the manager is unsure about the similarity of ability levels, it is better to have short and more frequent tournaments than a single long tournament. This article discusses the tournament design issues managers should consider when planning a tournament to optimize the results.

Keywords: tournaments, incentives, design

Suggested Citation

Kersting, Lee and Marley, Robert and Mellon, Mark J., Employee Tournaments: One Size Does Not Fit All (February 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410400 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410400

Lee Kersting (Contact Author)

Northern Kentucky University ( email )

Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

Robert Marley

University of Tampa ( email )

401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Box O
Tampa, FL 33606-1490
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ut.edu

Mark J. Mellon

Northern Illinois University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

College of Business
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States

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