An Experimental Investigation of How Self-Interested Organizational Norms Undermine Prosocial Motivation and Influence Employee Effort

Published on Jun 1, 2021in Journal of Information Systems1.7
· DOI :10.2308/ISYS-19-047
Jace Garrett3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
D. Kip Holderness5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Kari Joseph Olsen9
Estimated H-index: 9
Source
Abstract
Managers often implement behavioral controls to prevent free riding, especially in group settings where individual effort is difficult to measure. We argue that to the extent these controls signal a norm of self-interest in the workplace, they are likely to result in lower trust and employee effort. We predict and find that controls that send stronger signals of self-interest are especially detrimental to employees with high levels of prosocial motivation—individuals who tend to be less self-interested than their peers. Our results suggest managers should consider how behavioral controls signal self-interested organizational norms and influence employee outcomes.
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