Input-based performance evaluation, incentive intensity, and proactive work behavior

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Book chapter

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Advances in management accounting, volume 22

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Performance evaluation, input-based evaluation, output-based evaluation, incentive intensity, proactive behavior, self-determination theory


Purpose - We examine how input- (vs. output-) based performance evaluation and incentive intensity impact employees’ autonomous motivation, thereby influence their proactive work behaviors.

Methodology - We collected survey responses from 309 employees of different firms. Multi-group Structural Equation Modeling analyses were used to analyze the data.

Findings - Input-based evaluation had a positive effect on autonomous motivation and proactive work behaviors when task uncertainty was high, but a negative effect when it was low. Autonomous motivation had a positive effect on proactive work behaviors.

Research implications - Our results on the moderating effect of task uncertainty provide insights into inconsistencies in earlier studies. Moreover, applying self-determination theory of motivation to incentive research can provide some insights into why sometimes, incentives can negatively affect performance.

Practical implications - The study of proactive work behaviors is important because despite their necessity in the fast-changing business environment, they are relatively unexplored in the incentive literature. Proactivity is especially important for tasks that are high in uncertainty because the exact tasks to achieve those goals are hard to specify.

Originality/value of paper - We investigate the effect of performance management system on proactive work behaviors, mediated by autonomous motivation and moderated by task uncertainty.



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Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

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ISBN of the source publication: 9781781908426

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Recommended Citation

Guo, L., Wong, B. O.-W., & Lui, G. (2013). Input-based performance evaluation, incentive intensity, and proactive work behavior. In M. J. Epstein & J. Y. Lee (Eds.), Advances in management accounting, volume 22 (pp. 185-223). Bingley: Emerald. doi: 10.1108/S1474-7871(2013)0000022013