We ran a field experiment in a Dutch retail chain consisting of 128 stores. In a random sample of these stores, we introduced short-term sales competitions among subsets of stores. We find that sales competitions have a large effect on sales growth, but only in stores where the store's manager and a large fraction of the employees have the same gender. Remarkably, results are alike for sales competitions with and without monetary rewards, suggesting a high symbolic value of winning a tournament. Lastly, despite the substantial variation in team size, we find no evidence for free-riding.

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Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Delfgaauw, J, Dur, A.J, Sol, J, & Verbeke, W.J.M.I. (2009). Tournament Incentives in The Field: Gender Differences in The Workplace (No. TI 2009 - 069/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/16517