University of Amsterdam / Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
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Assigning Undesirable Tasks

Version 2 2024-04-18, 15:35
Version 1 2024-03-26, 10:47
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posted on 2024-04-18, 15:35 authored by A. KshatriyaA. Kshatriya

  

In each organization, there will be tasks that no one wants to do. Managers who need to assign such tasks face a dilemma: should they assign it to the employee who will likely do the best job, even if this employee resents the task, or should they instead assign it to a weaker performer? We hypothesize that managers’ propensity to assign an undesirable task to the most suitable candidate is higher when they can provide employees a specific reward for doing the task and when transparency about individual performance levels is low. Moreover, we predict that reward availability and transparency interact in affecting task assignments such that the probability that the task will be assigned to the best candidate is exceptionally low in transparent firms where there is no reward available. Using an experiment, we find evidence that the assignment of undesirable tasks is indeed affected by the availability of a reward but we find no evidence of the hypothesized effects of transparency. 

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2025-12-31

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