Driven By Social Comparisons: How Feedback About Coworkers? Effort Influences Individual Productivity
Drawing on theoretical insights from research on social comparison processes, this paper explores how managers can use performance feedback to sustain employees' motivation and performance in organizations. Using a field experiment at a Japanese bank, the authors investigate the effects of valence (positive versus negative), type (direct versus indirect), and timing of feedback (one-shot versus persistent) on employee productivity. The results show that direct negative feedback leads to improvements in employees' performance, while direct positive feedback does not significantly impact performance.