This paper reports the results from a controlled field experiment designed to investigate the causal effect of 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. This result is consistent with workers having a preference for conformity

Additional Metadata
Keywords employee motivation, recognition, reciprocity, conformity, field experiment.
JEL Field Experiments (jel C93), Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects (stock options, fringe benefits, incentives, family support programs, seniority issues) (jel M52)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/122313
Journal Management Science
Citation
Bradler, C., Dur, A.J, Neckermann, S., & Non, J.A. (2016). Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment. Management Science, 62(11), 3085–3099. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/122313