A theory of status and coordination in organizations

Wing Man Wynne Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Firms can motivate workers by offering them social status. Much of the literature argues that a rise in status is a powerful work incentive while ignoring its impact on coordination. This article shows that when workers need to collaborate while having individual vested interests, status differences may reduce the organization value by distorting efforts from different workers. However, status differences can increase the organization value when status effects changes in both authority allocation and cost of taking actions amongst workers. These results have practical implications for human resource management and promotion policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837–855
Number of pages19
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Issue number2
Early online date25 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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