Employee motivation as a driver of performance

(This article was also published via IE Insights)

berend van der kolk

All organizations want motivated employees, but how can management practices contribute to employee motivation? A recent study points to the importance of organizational values and training opportunities to facilitate intrinsic motivation of employees, and the role of performance measurement to enhance extrinsic motivation. Furthermore, the findings suggest that if organizations focus on motivating their employees, performance will follow.

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Looking back on the BBA Business Challenge

berend van der kolk

Last month, we hosted at IE Business School the very first edition of the #ieBBA Business Challenge in Madrid and Segovia: a competition between top universities and business schools from all over the world to solve a complex real-life business case. This year’s theme was “Responsible Innovation”, and as one of the organizers and case writers I’m happy to briefly reflect on this first edition.

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Study on motivation and management published

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Together with Paula van Veen-Dirks and Henk ter Bogt, I published this week a paper in the European Accounting Review. In the paper we study the relation between management control, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and performance. We use survey data from 105 departments from Dutch municipalities to test our hypotheses.

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Can performance metrics harm performance?

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(This article was also published on IE Business School’s corporate relations page IE Insights.)

Can performance measurement systems negatively impact performance? A recent study (“Performance measurement, cognitive dissonance and coping strategies: exploring individual responses to NPM-inspired output control”) suggests this, finding that employee behavior can change when performance is being measured. When subjected to such scrutiny, professionals sometimes rather focus on easily measurable tasks, while avoiding activities that are not measured or do that do not yield results in the short term. And that may harm the (long-term) performance of professionals and organizations.

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Why business education needs to integrate ethics and technics

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[An edited and shortened version of this article was published in The Guardian.]

Although topics in business education such as accounting and finance may seem merely technical, they often bear major ethical implications. Business education should therefore aim to make students aware of the moral side of business decisions.

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New publication in Accounting Education

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Last week, I published a paper in Accounting Education about the presence (and absence) of ethical considerations in management accounting textbooks..

Drawing on the work of Alisdair MacIntyre, I argue that management accounting (MA) instruments such as performance measurement are not morally neutral, but instead bear moral implications. Therefore, I contend that MA students should be trained to take these moral implications into consideration alongside MA’s technical aspects. A content analysis is carried out to examine the integration of ethical considerations in top-ranked MA textbooks.

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Er gaat niets boven…gaswinning?

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Een recent visiedocument van Shell stelt dat het ‘verstandig’ is om de Groningse gasvoorraad ‘maximaal’ te benutten. Op die manier kan namelijk de energietransitie worden bekostigd. In deze bijdrage belicht ik de gebruikte redenatie waarmee Shell politici en publieke opinie probeert te beïnvloeden. Shell kenmerkt zich vooral door een zogenaamde ‘doel-heiligt-de-middelen’ ethiek.

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