UCL School of Management

Research seminar

Public Relative Performance Feedback in Complex Service Systems



Monday, 25 April 2016
15:00 – 16:30

Managers of service organizations seek to improve productivity without eroding service quality. We explore whether privately versus publicly disclosing relative performance feedback (RPF) about individual workers’ processing times can help achieve this goal. Using three years of patient encounter data from two emergency departments, one of which changed from privately to publicly disclosing RPF to physicians, we find an 8.6% improvement in productivity and no significant reduction in quality associated with implementing public RPF. This benefit is greater when workers are carrying out unstandardized, rather than standardized, tasks. We conduct further analyses that suggest the benefit of public RPF may primarily stem from the identification and diffusion of best practices around workflow, rather than from the motivation to be top-ranked or the shame of being bottom-ranked. Thus, our results suggest public RPF can foster the sharing and adoption of strategies for improving the management of workflow.

Last updated Thursday, 21 April 2016