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Social Comparison and Impression Management: The Joint Effect of RPI and Supervisor Presence On Employee Performance

Mecham, Nathan W. (2023) Social Comparison and Impression Management: The Joint Effect of RPI and Supervisor Presence On Employee Performance. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation consists of three chapters. In Chapter 1.0, I first establish the structure of my dissertation. I then provide a brief introduction to the relative performance information literature (RPI) and its importance to both practice and research. I specifically describe how my dissertation answers a call for research regarding the effect of providing employees with RPI in the presence of a supervisor.
In Chapter 2.0, I provide a focused review of the academic literature regarding RPI. I first describe what RPI is and then describe the predictions that the traditional economic literature and behavioral literature would make regarding how providing RPI to employees should affect employee performance. I then describe previous studies that have analyzed RPI’s effect on employee performance under both tournament and non-tournament contracts and other moderating variables. Many of these studies analyze settings where either a supervisor is not present or the role of a supervisor is deemphasized. I identify this as an important research area and outline how my dissertation contributes to the RPI literature.
In Chapter 3.0, I provide evidence that the traditional positive effect on employee performance of providing employees with RPI is decreased when a supervisor is present. Using an experiment, I manipulate whether employees receive RPI and whether a supervisor is present in the experimental setting. I first replicate previous research by providing evidence of a positive effect of RPI on employee performance when no supervisor is present. Second, I provide evidence that when employees do not receive RPI, the presence of a supervisor increases employee performance. Third, I fail to find an effect of RPI on employee performance when a supervisor is present. Thus, I provide evidence that providing RPI to employees may not effectively motivate employees to increase their performance when the presence of a supervisor is salient.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mecham, Nathan W.nwm11@pitt.edunwm110000-0003-0516-3610
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairMoser, Donald
Committee CoChairMartin, Patrick
Committee MemberHoffman, Vicky
Committee MemberEvans, J.
Committee MemberNewman,
Committee MemberChan,
Date: 29 June 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 25 April 2023
Approval Date: 29 June 2023
Submission Date: 13 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 67
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Relative Performance Information, Social Comparison, Impression Management
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2023 15:51
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2023 15:51


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