The Romanian Review of European Governance Studies
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The price of helping and equal opportunities in the European Union

Frontpage calendar image December 1, 2011

Author:Ana-Maria Godeanu

This paper studies the price of helping in the European Union by looking at different types of compensation and the job design applied inside an organization. Given that previous literature has mainly examined each determinant separately, I aim at developing a complex perspective that considers their effect simultaneously. Drawing from agency theory, social exchange theory and the theory of cooperation, I predict that piece rates and individual productivity payments decrease cooperation while compensation based on common goals and empowerment leads to more helping behavior. Also, equal opportunities and cooperation in different European countries are analyzed. Using a cross-sectional dataset of European employees, results yield support for the majority of the hypotheses confirming that managers should know how to increase the benefits or decrease the costs of helping by either giving employees autonomy to be able to assist others or by introducing and combining different compensation techniques.