Ke XuFollow

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Ivo Tafkov; Dr. Michael Majerczyk

Second Advisor

Dr. Curtis Mullis

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew Newman


In today’s business environment, organizations have increased the use of tangible rewards in their reward and recognition systems. The purpose of my study is to examine the extent to which tangible rewards affect performance in multidimensional task environments, especially the performance on the uncompensated task dimension. Based on economic theory and prior research on tangible rewards, I do not make an ex-ante prediction on the relative efficacy of tangible rewards and cash rewards on the compensated task dimension performance. However, I rely on affect valuation theory to predict that tangible rewards motivate a higher level of performance compared to cash rewards on the uncompensated task dimension. Using an experiment, I find that even though cash and tangible rewards motivate similar levels of performance on the compensated task dimension, the uncompensated task dimension performance is higher under tangible rewards than cash rewards. Thus, my study reveals a positive effect of tangible rewards in multidimensional task environments. The findings of my study provide meaningful insights that can help firms make more informed decisions when designing their performance management and reward systems for multidimensional tasks.


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