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The impact of management practices on employee productivity: a field experiment with airline captains

Gosnell, Greer K., List, John A. and Metcalfe, Robert D. (2020) The impact of management practices on employee productivity: a field experiment with airline captains. Journal of Political Economy, 128 (4). 1195 - 1233. ISSN 0022-3808

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Identification Number: 10.1086/705375

Abstract

Increasing evidence indicates the importance of management in determining firms’ productivity. Yet causal evidence regarding the effectiveness of management practices is scarce, especially for skilled labor in the developed world. In a field experiment measuring commercial airline captains’ productivity, we test four distinct management practices: performance monitoring, performance feedback, target setting, and prosocial incentives. These practices—particularly monitoring and target setting—significantly increase captains’ productivity on the targeted fuel-saving dimensions, with positive spillovers on job satisfaction and CO 2 emissions. The study reveals an uncharted research opportunity to delve into the black box of firms to examine the determinants of productivity among skilled labor.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/toc/jpe/current
Additional Information: © 2020 The University of Chicago
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D0 - General > D01 - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J30 - General
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q50 - General
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R4 - Transportation Systems > R40 - General
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2019 15:45
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2020 23:28
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102640

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