fbpx Are they useful? The effects of performance incentives on the prioritization of work versus personal ties - Ashley Whillans | Harvard Kennedy School

Excerpt

2021, Paper: "Most working adults report spending very little time with friends and family. The current research explores the aspects of work that encourage employees to spend less time with personal ties. We show that incentive systems play a critical role in shaping how people allocate their time to different relationship partners. Across three experiments, one survey, and one large-scale archival data set (N = 77,302), exposure to performance incentives encouraged employees to spend more time with their work colleagues, even when it prevented them from spending time with their friends and family. This is because performance incentives led employees to perceive their work relationships as more instrumental. These findings suggest that incentive systems shape employees’ perceptions of and their interactions with critical relationship partners. "

Non-HKS Author Website - Ashley Whillans