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Self-Managed Working Time and Employee Effort: Theory and Evidence

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JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
DateAccepted/In press - 18 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2017
Volume133
Pages (from-to)285-302
Early online date24/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper theoretically and empirically examines the impact of self-managed working time (SMWT) on employee effort. As a policy of increased worker autonomy, SMWT can theoretically increase effort via intrinsic motivation and reciprocal behaviour, but it can also lead to a decrease of effort due to a loss of control. Based on German individual-level panel data, we find that SMWT employees exert higher effort levels than employees with fixed working hours. Even after accounting for observed and unobserved characteristics there remains a modest positive effect. This effect is largely driven by employees who are intrinsically motivated, suggesting that intrinsic motivation is complementary to SMWT. However, reciprocal work intensification does not seem to be an important channel of providing extra effort.

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© Elsevier Ltd, 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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