Gender differences in preferences regarding social relationships and competitive environments are well documented in psychology and economics. Research also shows that social relationships and competition among co-workers are affected by the incentive schemes workers are exposed to. We combine these two stylized facts and hypothesize that men and women differ in how they rate their co-worker relationships when they work under individual incentives, group incentives, or a combination of the two. This hypothesis is explored using survey data on 14,743 highly educated employees from 78 different organizations in the Netherlands. We find correlational evidence that, in the absence of individual incentives, group incentives improve co-worker relationships for women, but deteriorate co-worker relationships for men.
Incentives gender differences interpersonal relations social interaction