While the gig economy provides flexible jobs for millions of workers globally, a lack of organization identity and co-worker bonds contributes to their low engagement and high attrition rates. To test the impact of virtual teams on worker productivity, retention and well-being, we conduct a field experiment with 27,790 drivers on a ride-sharing platform. We organize drivers into teams that are randomly assigned to receiving their team ranking, or individual ranking within their team, or individual performance information (control). We find that treated drivers generate significantly higher revenue. Furthermore, drivers in the team ranking treatment continue to be more engaged three months after the end of the experiment. Survey data suggest that peer learning and team identity contribute to the virtual team efficacy.
Yan Chen is the Daniel Kahneman Collegiate Professor in the School of Information at University of Michigan, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University. Her research interests are in behavioral and experimental economics, market and mechanism design, information economics, and public economics. She conducts both theoretical and experimental research. She is a former president of the Economic Science Association, an international organization of experimental economists. Chen has published in leading economics and management journals, such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Theory, and Management Science, and general interest journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She serves as a Department Editor of Management Science.
The CAIT Distinguished Lecture Series seeks to promote education and learning on the state of artificial intelligence technology through lectures from both academic and industry researchers and experts. Lectures are held throughout the academic year and are open to the public.