Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/35310
Authors: 
Harbring, Christine
Irlenbusch, Bernd
Year of Publication: 
2009
Series/Report no.: 
IZA discussion papers 4205
Abstract: 
Although relative performance schemes are pervasive in organizations reliable empirical data on induced sabotage behavior is almost non-existent. We study sabotage in tournaments in a controlled laboratory experiment and are able to confirm one of the key insights from theory: effort and sabotage increase with the wage spread. Additionally, we find that even in the presence of tournament incentives, agents react reciprocally to higher wages, which mitigates the sabotage problem. Destructive activities are reduced by explicitly calling them by their name 'sabotage'. Communication among principal and agents curbs sabotage due to agreements on flat prize structures and increased output.
Subjects: 
Sabotage
tournament
reciprocity
relative performance scheme
experiment
JEL: 
M52
J33
J41
L23
C72
C91
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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