Olin Business School

Accountability & Incentives

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About the course

How can firms better ensure accountability throughout their organizations? This program focuses on measuring and rewarding performance throughout the organization. We will focus on the critical levers of incentives and controls for both individuals and business units and their important relationships with job design, production technology and firm strategy. Key to our approach will be a realistic model of human behavior and an understanding of how complex people respond to the accountability systems in place in organizations.


  • Incentive and control systems produce often-complex behavioral responses in employees
  • Accountability requires a careful and accurate assessment of contribution to the broader organization
  • Ideal incentive and control systems deeply depend on job design and production technology
  • Accountability policies influence performance, by both changing behavior and affecting attraction/retention


  • A clear framework for predicting likely employee responses to accountability policies
  • Employ critical thinking processes for anticipating holistic organizational impacts from policy changes
  • Awareness of heuristics for psychological and economic employee responses to pay and monitoring
  • Understand how compensation system efficacy is inseparable from job design

Trust the experts

Lamar Pierce

Lamar Pierce joined the Olin faculty in 2007, after visiting at Carnegie Mellon for two years. Prior to earning his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, he worked at Boeing in Seattle, WA. Pierce's research focuses on economic and psychological factors that impact both productivity and ...


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