To What Extent Do Workers’ Preferences Matter?

57 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2020

See all articles by Zhenzhen Jia

Zhenzhen Jia

Fudan University

Kejia Hu

Vanderbilt University - Operations Management

Jianqiang Hu

Fudan University

Vishal Ahuja

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Information Technology and Operations Management Department (ITOM)

Date Written: May 6, 2020

Abstract

Our research investigates how preference satisfaction, particularly intrinsic values such as psychological comfort, can improve a worker's service efficiency and quality. Examining a comprehensive dataset linking surgeons' performances to their preferences for operating rooms, we not only confirm the significant role of intrinsic values in driving workers' service efficiency and quality but also quantify the preference satisfaction effect as large enough to serve as a new managerial lever for firms. However, we also find that compared to workers without preferences, workers with preferences perform better if satisfied, but worse if unsatisfied. This suggests that firms should consider the cultivation of workers' preferences only if their systems can satisfy their workers. Furthermore, our second-order analysis suggests that in a restricted system, managers should prioritize satisfying workers with heavy workloads or complex tasks to achieve the greatest improvement. Finally, we update the surgery scheduling framework by incorporating surgeons' preferences. Our counterfactual analysis demonstrates that preference satisfaction can achieve huge benefits in operation cost saving and patient welfare improvement at little expense. For the operations in our sample, we find satisfying surgeons' preferences can reduce healthcare costs by over 4 million dollars, not to mention the huge potential improvement in patients' and surgeons' welfare.

Keywords: service operations management, intrinsic benefits, preference satisfaction, service efficiency and quality, scheduling

Suggested Citation

Jia, Zhenzhen and Hu, Kejia and Hu, Jianqiang and Ahuja, Vishal, To What Extent Do Workers’ Preferences Matter? (May 6, 2020). SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper No. 20-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3593991 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3593991

Zhenzhen Jia

Fudan University ( email )

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China

Kejia Hu (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Operations Management ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Jianqiang Hu

Fudan University ( email )

670 Guoshun Road
Siyuan Building, Room 508
Shanghai, 200433
China

HOME PAGE: http://www.fdsm.fudan.edu.cn/en/teacher/preview.aspx?UID=91946

Vishal Ahuja

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Information Technology and Operations Management Department (ITOM) ( email )

Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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