讲座：Social Motivation of Sales Contest Leaderboards: Theory and Evidence 发布时间：2023-10-07
题 目：Social Motivation of Sales Contest Leaderboards: Theory and Evidence
嘉 宾：Yuanchen Su（苏元晨）, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
主持人：张铄 副教授 国产超高效液相色谱
地 点：上海交通大学 徐汇校区 安泰经济与管理学院A303
Sales contests reward relative performance. Prevailing theory models suggest provide economic incentives similar to own-performance schemes with proper attention to feedback; e.g., eschewing interim feedback (leaderboards) because informing participants about their lower relative interim standings monotonically lowers their odds of catching up and exceeding other participants above them, thus lowering effort. The empirical puzzle is that leaderboards are virtually a universal fixture of real-world sales contests. We extend the prevailing theory to study the possibility that leaderboards invite social comparison effects, particularly the unpleasantness of “losing” which spurs additional effort. To this end, we first develop a simple analytical model to organize participants’ efforts subsequent to learning about their current standings. The takeaway is that participants at the lower end of the current standings will indeed exert more effort in the follow-on period compared to agents immediately above them. We take this novel non-monotonic prediction of standings and next-period sales to real-world data. Each of our sales contests lasted two months and involved hundreds of participants. Twice-weekly updated leaderboards show all participants’ their current cumulative equipment sales organized into pages each containing 100 ranks. We develop three strands of evidence of these effects. First, we find that next-day sales follows the expected downward pattern across the pages, but with the predicted non-monotonic upward pattern at the last page where next-day sales are greater than those participants on the penultimate page. Second, a regression-discontinuity inspired design compares participant groups (10 each) closest to a page boundary to the adjacent group further away. Supporting our social comparison prediction, next-day sales from the group closest to that page’s boundary are higher than those of the adjacent group further away despite their cumulative sales (and thus economic outcomes) being virtually identical. Finally, we show that overall contest outcomes are higher than the pre- and post-contest outcomes, affirming the managerial meaningfulness of these social effects despite the current contest’s scarce rewards and visible leaderboards that are negative features under the rational actor lens. Recommendations for improved contest designs close the paper.
Yuanchen Su is a Ph.D. candidate in Quantitative Marketing at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on the effectiveness of various gamification incentive programs in salesforce (e.g., contests, leaderboards, randomized windfall rewards), and how these gamified incentives influence salespeople’s behaviors. Her research also delves into the impact of social elements on organizational and individual decision-making. Methodologically, she uses econometrics models, structural models, and applied game theory. She earned her M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Minnesota and her B.E. in Automation from Tsinghua University in China.