What drives people to work hard? Why do we try our best in some settings, while in others we tend to slack off? In this class we explore how employees are motivated, and tools to increase employees' motivation. We apply microeconomic theory, game theory, behavioral economics and psychology to investigate topics such as incentives, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, peer effects, performance feedback, employer recognition, autonomy, competitiveness, reciprocity, procrastination, mindset, purpose and social status.
Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.
UiS Business School
Upon completion of the course, students will better understand:
how people are motivated to do their best at the workplace
the role of behavioral science to understand motivation at the workplace
how job design is linked to employer effectiveness and motivation
how organizational change and management can increase employees' motivation
Upon completion of the course, students will have learned:
to apply microeconomic theory, game theory, behavioral economics and econometric analysis to explore traditional general management questions
to conduct a case study of how employees in a real life organization are motivated
to interact with a real life organization and provide them with recommendations for how to improve worker motivation
how to learn from reading international journal articles and think critically about empirical evidence
how to collaborate effectively in groups
In this class we leverage behavioral science to understand motivation at the workplace. We explore how job design is linked to employer effectiveness and motivation, and how organizational change and management can increase employees' motivation. We apply microeconomic theory, game theory, behavioral economics and psychology to investigate topics such as incentives, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, peer effects, performance feedback, employer recognition, autonomy, competitiveness, reciprocity, procrastination, mindset, purpose and social status.
An important learning experience is to collaborate with classmates and act as a consultant team for a real firm/organization. Your team will write a report evaluating how the employees at the firm/organization are motivated, including your recommendations for how to increase motivation. Your report will be based on interviews with a manager in the firm/organization. The three teams with the best case reports will be given the opportunity to present their work to an expert committee in the UiS Business School Sandnes Sparebank Case Competition. The committee selects the team with the best case study, who win a prize.
We will use scientific journal articles in addition to some chapters from the textbook Personnel Economics in Practice by Edward P. Lazear and Michael Gibbs (2014). An important goal is to learn how to read international journal articles, think critically about the empirical evidence, and communicate the research findings to colleagues. Together with classmates you will be responsible for presenting a relevant journal article at a student seminar.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Eksamen / vurdering
Individual home exam
A - F
Group case study (report and presentations)
A - F
Students will receive one grade based on the two components in the folder. Only students who have completed the group case study, and the course requirements, during the course will be allowed to do the individual home exam.There will be no resits for the exam. If students are sick during the exam period, an extension will be granted.
Presentations in group (scientific paper presentation), Group written assignment and presentation (practice exam), At least 70% overall attendance, 100% Compulsory attendance first week of class
Study Program Director:
Method of work
1. Lectures: 26 hours
2. Seminar (scientific paper presentations): 4 hours