Max Planck Economics Podcast: How to Motivate Teams for Cognitively Challenging Tasks

Do teams of engineers react to the same incentives as strawberry pickers? Whereas there is extensive research on how to motivate people who perform individual and routine tasks, little is known about how to incentivize teams that perform non-routine and cognitive demanding tasks. A team of researchers around Florian Englmaier, Professor of Organizational Economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, have been running a series of large-scale field experiments in escape rooms to understand how people cooperate to solve non-routine analytical tasks, and to learn about what motivates them to accomplish their work.

In a new episode of the Max Planck Economics Podcast he tells us how monetary incentives influence team performance and whether they crowd-out intrinsic motivation or reduce workers’ willingness to explore “original” solutions. Furthermore, he explores the role of leadership for the task completion and whether it is more helpful to have a coordinating or rather a motivating leader. (Photo: Wehking).


Reading material on the podcast episode:

Florian Englmaier, Stefan Grimm, David Schindler und Simeon Schudy. The effect of incentives in non-routine analytical team tasks—evidence from a field experiment.
Working Paper

Florian Englmaier. Presentation on “The effect of incentives in non-routine analytical team tasks—evidence from a field experiment”.
Presentation Slides


Max Planck Economics Podcast

Hosts: Jonas Send, Raisa Sherif, and Dr. Lisa Windsteiger,  Research Fellows at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Editing: Nicole Stefan

Music: “Corporate Technology” by Scott Holmes: