We study a bonus pay setting where a principal hires a supervisor to evaluate a group of potentially shirking workers. The supervisor and her workers develop relational feelings (either positive or negative) after interacting with each other. We analyze a novel class of organizational infractions where the supervisor provides false evaluations of the workers’ performance to accommodate her other-regarding preferences. We show that the workers’ reaction to these supervisory violations and their decision to provide effort depend on their relational concerns. The implication is that incentive pays can be ineffective due to the distortion of relational concerns.
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