Incentives Matter EMBA - Meiners “If you would persuade, appeal to interest and not to reason.” Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard’s Almanack 1732-1758.

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Incentives Matter EMBA - Meiners If you would persuade, appeal to interest and not to reason. Benjamin Franklin Poor Richards Almanack 1732-1758 </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Agency Costs Employees or contractors not behaving as they should is a part of what we call Agency Costs or Agency Problems. Agency costs are a problem whenever a principal hires an agent to act on his behalf. A boss hires a worker. Solving this universal problems is a key managerial problem in managing personnel and in controlling costs. </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Why cant people be this nice? </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Drawback of Firms: Agency Costs Agency costs arises from separation of ownership &amp; control. Owners of firms are interested in profit maximization. Managers, employees, and suppliers are interested in maximizing their own self-interests. How do we give employees incentives to act as if they were owners of the firm? How do we get employees to not shirkthat is, work as hard as they can in the manner the owners would want? It is a matter of incentives. </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> Basic Human Nature This is what most people want to do when they are supposed to be working: This is what we want employees to be doing: </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> Monitoring We have incentives to shirk take more than we should or work less than we should. Monitoring is costly, so sensible to accept some losses. Many forms of monitoring exist (spot checks, etc.). Usually there is unequal (asymmetric) information between parties. One knows more than the other and can exploit that. Examples: Person selling used car (seller exploits buyer) Buying insurance (buyer exploits seller) </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Monitoring, Bonding &amp; Signals How do we assure customers that we can be trusted, so they should deal with us? Various devices: Fixed price contracts; Bonds; Warranties; Take payment as % later (Accenture) Less formal: Reputation. This matters greatly in the market. Diamond market in New York close family, social and religious ties impose special discipline. </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Entrepreneurs and their Firms Key Managerial Problem: Giving employees incentives to act as if they are owners. The owner or top manager must cede authority to others. The issue is: How do we structure an organization to reduce agency costs? The movement has been in the direction of more flat organizations; especially in knowledge- based production. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Dealing with Agency Costs Common solution: Cost centers within firms. Why? Hold each part of organization accountable. But: 1. How do you count overhead costs? 2. Accounting costs ignore some economic costs. 3. Parts of firm impose tax on other parts of firm, charging prices too high. 4.Organization become tied to internal suppliers (each part forced to buy from other inside parts internal capital markets), insulated from external competition and benefit of market knowledge about costs and better technology. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> Decentralization: Pros &amp; Cons Empowering workers and managers. BENEFITS: 1. More effective use of local knowledge those closest know the most 2. Conservation of senior management top people cannot know or do everything 3. Training &amp; motivation for local managers: helps attract and keep good managers and train future top managers </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Decentralization... Empowering workers and managers: COSTS: 1. Agency costs shirking; self-dealing so control and monitoring measures needed 2. Coordination costs and failures duplication; pricing errors 3. Less effective use of central information local managers cannot know all information central managers have, so have inferior knowledge </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Team Production: Increasing or Decreasing Costs? Create teams of people with different expertise to make decisions Ex.Hallmark Cards had teams of art, design, production and marketing assigned by holiday with decision rights rather than move produce from functional area to areacut time in half. BenefitsImproved use of specific knowledge and employee buy in due to better information, more cooperation &amp; less blame. CostsCollective-action and free-rider problems. Same thing in car productionteam development tried at Chrysler; separate functional areas at GM. Tradeoffs. </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Some Traditional Systems Work Well Safelite Glass is largest installer of windshields on cars in U.S. (windshield replacement). Workers were paid hourly wage ratedrive to customer location and install windshield. Average was 2.7 windshields per day. Company changed to piece-rate compensation low base salary plus bonus for each windshield installed. Productivity increased 20% (3.24 windshield per day per worker). Workers were happier &amp; less turnover of good workers. </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Getting Workers to Monitor Each Other Nucor has been one of the few successful steel makers in the U.S. It keeps management small and adapts new technology quickly. Production workers are in teams. Base salaries are below industry standards. Teams are given production goals. Beating goals allows salary to be more than doubled. Penalties for mistakes are severe, so quality maintained. If one worker shirks then everyone suffers. Who is likely to want to work at Nucor? </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> Simple Rules May Not Work So Well 3M is an innovative company with 50,000 products, but most income is from a few products. Company had a rule that 30% of each divisions sales must be from new products every 4 years. Forced innovation. Company performed below average. New CEO studied the innovations. Many were trivial change the color of a product and call it new. Scrapped the 30% rule; focus on best products and on small number of innovations that look promising. </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Other incentives People respond to incentives so watch how rewards structured. Why the sub-prime mortgage mess in U.S.? Banks (under orders from Washington) focused on quantity of mortgages made, not quality. So they got many bad mortgages. [Also, mortgage makers knew they would not keep the paper.] If pay for quantity, need a quality measure in place too. Examples: charge for failures such as Nucor and car dealership repair departments. </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Go for the Gold In 2005 the Merrill Lynch board approved new incentive program for CEO and senior management: raise return on equity in the next 3 years and you get rich. What did they do? 1.Merrill repurchased $9 billion of its stock. 2.Firm went heavily into high-risk assets, such as sub-prime mortgages. The first two years went great but when the market collapsed. </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Are Incentives Right? Dealers at casinos in Las Vegas earn about $100,000 per yearalmost all on tips. Their wages are about $12,000. Casino owner Steve Wynn ordered tip money pooled, divided, and shared with managers. Why? </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Question on Team Incentives Suppose different numbers of people are assigned to pull a rope as hard as you can. One person pulls the rope. Three people pull the rope together. Eight people pull the rope together. How does the pulling force (work effort) per person change across these three cases? </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Incentives of Managers In the fast-food industry, 30% of stores are company owned and run by a salaried manager. 70% of the stores are run as franchises by owner-operators who split profits with the parent company. 1) Which kind of store would you think would tend to be more profitable? 2) Why then does the parent choose to own some? Where would they be located? 3) Would you expect employees to see a difference in the managers? </li> </ul>


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