A firm's innovation process requires employees to develop novel ideas and to coordinate with each other to turn the tacit knowledge embodying these ideas into better products and services. Such work outcomes provide signals about employees' abilities to the labor market, and therefore career concerns arise. The effects of career concerns can both be 'good' (enhancing incentives for effort in developing ideas) and 'bad' (preventing voluntary coordination). Our model shows how a firm can take these conflicting forces into account through the design of its explicit incentive system and the way it organizes work processes.
B E Journal in Theoretical Economics, 2010, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 1-38
career concerns; group incentives; knowledge work; reputation; teams