Assignment: Complex Incentive Systems

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Assignment: Complex Incentive Systems

Assignment: Complex Incentive Systems

On the other hand, some managers use the same information to rank employees so that top‐ranked employees are rewarded and those lower ranked are, in some way, punished or reprimanded. This may cause employees to feel threatened and respond accordingly. The representative who is not on the top of the list might shorten calls or deliver less quality, consequently decreasing customer satisfaction, while increasing the values of the metrics that are measured. The lesson for managers is to pay attention to what is monitored and how the information is used. Metrics for performance must be meaningful in terms of the organization’s broader goals, and measured, managed, and communicated appropriately.

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How feedback is communicated in the organization plays a role in affecting behavior. Some feedback can be communicated via IS themselves. A simple example is the feedback built into an electronic form that will not allow it to be submitted until it is properly filled out. For more complex feedback, IS may not be the appropriate vehi- cle. For example, no one would want to be told she or he was doing a poor job via e‐mail or voice mail. Negative feedback of significant consequence often is best delivered in person.

IS can allow for feedback from a variety of participants who otherwise could not be involved. Many companies provide “360‐degree” feedback in which the individual’s supervisors, subordinates, and co‐workers all provide

11 Bernd Carsten Stahl, “The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act 1998 on Privacy Protection in the Workplace,” Computer Security, Privacy and Politics: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions (Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing, 2008), 55–68.

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66 Organizational Strategy and Information Systems

formal input. Social tools are making inroads in evaluation, too. For example, a “thumbs up” or “1–5 stars” evalu- ation system makes it easy and fast to provide informal feedback and evaluate activities. Because that feedback is received more quickly, improvements can be made faster.

Incentives and Rewards and Information Systems Incentives and rewards are the ways organizations encourage good performance. A clever reward system can make employees feel good without paying them more money. IS can affect these processes, too. Some organizations use their Web sites to recognize high performers, giving them electronic badges that are displayed on the social network to identify them as award recipients. Others reward them with new technology. At one organization, top performers get new computers every year, while lower performers get the “hand‐me‐downs.”

IS make it easier to design complex incentive systems, such as shared or team‐based incentives. IS make it eas- ier to keep track of contributions of team members and, in conjunction with qualitative inputs, allocate rewards according to complex formulas. For example, in a call center, agents can be motivated to perform better by providing rewards based on tracking metrics, such as average time per call, number of calls answered, and customer satis- faction. Information systems can provide measures of all of these on a real‐time basis—even customer satisfaction through automated audio or Web site questionnaires after a customer interaction.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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