Treating equals unequally: Incentives in teams, workers' motivation, and production technology

Sebastian J. Goerg, Sebastian Kube, Ro'i Zultan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The importance of fair and equal treatment of workers is at the heart of the debate in organizational management. In this regard, we study how reward schemes and production technologies affect effort provision in teams. Our experimental results demonstrate that unequal rewards can potentially increase productivity by facilitating coordination and that the effect strongly interacts with the exact shape of the production function. Taken together, our data highlight the relevance of the production function for organization construction and suggest that equal treatment of equals is neither a necessary nor a sufficient prerequisite for eliciting high performance in teams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-772
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Labor Economics
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

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