Motivating by walking around: WHU Research Seminar with Pablo Casas-Arce

In the first virtual WHU Research Seminar conducted by the IMC, a very interesting research question was discussed on 23 June: Is it possible to successfully motivate employees by applying the management style of managing by walking around? Associate Professor Pablo Casas-Arce presented his findings while discussing his paper with the WHU community.

In the paper “Motivating through Managing by Walking Around”, Pablo Casas-Arce and his co-authors analyze the motivational effects of managing by walking around (MBWA), a management style that emphasizes managers’ unstructured visits to the rank and file of the company. They do so by conducting a field experiment in the retail division of a medium-sized bank located in Latin America. The authors find that branches increase their sales productivity by a significant ten percent in the window following the management visit, an effect that persists for at least a month after the event. After the seminar, Pablo Casas-Arce gave valuable feedback to the doctoral students at the IMC for their own research.

Pablo Casas-Arce is associate professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at the Arizona State University. He works on compensation, control systems, the use of accounting information, organizational economics, and corporate governance.