Bonus Competition May Poison Working Climate

Professor Niels Van Quaquebeke, KLU

Many companies prefer to use a performance-based bonus approach, called “pay for performance (PfP)” systems, for employee motivation. These systems produce the desired, performance-boosting behavior at work, but they do have a drawback. PfP systems encourage social comparison and competition, even leading to aggressive behavior among employees. This can escalate to the point that colleagues actively harm each other. These are the findings of Professor Niels Van Quaquebeke from Kühne Logistics University and Daniel Gläser (RespectResearchGroup, University of Hamburg), who studied the collateral effects of PfP systems in organizations together with Dr. Suzanne van Gils from Maastricht University.

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