HOW TO DESIGN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES IN PROFESSIONS THAT ARE HIGHLY TERRITORIAL

A study of doctors shows that the best incentive schemes harness a desire to expand and protect professional turf. If one would like employees to more consistently fill out tedious paperwork or be more attentive to customer needs, the solution is usually quite simple: pay them more to do it. Little is known about whether financial incentives like this work for professionals such as doctors, who have high autonomy and esoteric expertise, and often feel a dedication to “duty” over mere self-interest. Such professionals are infamously hard to manage by any means. They don’t want to be told how to do their jobs. And throwing more money at them isn’t likely to make them budge. In a study performed by Jillian Chown, doctors responded to financial incentives attached to tasks where they had low jurisdictional dominance.   Read More >>

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