Organizational behavior and occupational rewards

Starting date
April 29, 2019
Duration (months)
Human Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Ceschi Andrea , Sartori Riccardo , Tommasi Francesco

Recent studies have shown that intervening on employees’ reward levels increases their motivation and, consequently, their job performance (Omansky et al., 2016). The present strand of research is developed in this context, proposing an investigation of the relationship between organizational rewards and work engagement through the analysis of employees’ perceived effort and rewards. The aim of the strand is to optimize the balance of efforts in order to improve the satisfaction and productivity of organizational members. The reference model is Siegrist’s Effort-Reward Imbalance (model), according to which certain individual factors influence the perceived balance (or imbalance) between what individuals put in and what they receive from the organization.Therefore, if there is a situation of balance, it is possible to speak of reciprocity.
Conversely, if the situation is one of imbalance, it is possible to experience feelings of distress or negative emotions. Therefore, the perception of imbalance can lead to negative outcomes, such as dissatisfaction or demotivation at work, and can influence the quality of decisions. In this context, the APRESO Research Center has conducted two studies. The first, entitled “The Impact of Employment Rewards on Risk Taking among Managers”, examines the financial and ethical risks that managers often take on behalf of their organizations. The risk management findings suggest a negative relationship between managers’ age and their propensity to take financial risks. This suggests that the rewards and compensation provided by the organization mediate the relationship between managers’ age and their willingness to take risks.
Specifically, perceived job security rewards partially mediate the relationship between age and ethical risk-taking, while promotion-related rewards moderate the effect of age on financial risk-taking. The second study in this line of research, entitled “A Cognitive Perspective on Counterproductive Work Behavior. Evidence from a Two-Wave Longitudinal Study,” focuses on counterproductive work behavior (CWB), which is costly in terms of resources for both organizations and their employees. The researchers adopted the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991) and the Effort-Reward Disequilibrium model to analyze how behavioral intention affects counterproductive work behavior and how this relationship arises from personal beliefs and/or social norms. Finally, we sought to examine the possible contribution of perceptions of imbalance between effort expended and perceived rewards in explaining counterproductive behavior.
In summary, the results of these studies suggest that controlled intentions that have an internal locus of causality (i.e., derived directly from subjects rather than from external factors) are associated with a higher likelihood of CWB performance and that individual perceptions of control over CWB predict counterproductive organizational behavior.

Siegrist, J., Starke, D., Chandola, T., Godin, I., Marmot, M., Niedhammer, I., & Peter, R. (2004). The measurement of effort–reward imbalance at work: European comparisons. Social science & medicine, 58(8), 1483-1499.
Janssen, O. (2000). Job demands, perceptions of effort‐reward fairness and innovative work behaviour. Journal of Occupational and organizational psychology, 73(3), 287-302.
Siegrist, J. (2002). Effort-reward imbalance at work and health. In Historical and current perspectives on stress and health. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. Journal of occupational health psychology, 1(1), 27.
Van Vegchel, N., De Jonge, J., Bosma, H., & Schaufeli, W. (2005). Reviewing the effort–reward imbalance model: drawing up the balance of 45 empirical studies. Social science & medicine, 60(5), 1117-1131.

Project participants

Andrea Ceschi
Associate Professor
Riccardo Sartori
Associate Professor
Francesco Tommasi
Temporary Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Formazione e organizzazioni
work and organizational psychology
Title Authors Year
A cognitive perspective on counterproductive work behavior. Evidence from a two-wave longitudinal study Costantini, Arianna; Ceschi, Andrea; Sartori, Riccardo 2019
Psychological processes underlying organizational reward management. The role of perceived organizational support and effort–reward management. Costantini, Arianna; Dickert, Stephan; Ceschi, Andrea; Sartori, Riccardo 2018


Research facilities