Mission-driven intrinsic motivation and performance of public workers

Last registered on November 01, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Mission-driven intrinsic motivation and performance of public workers
Initial registration date
March 11, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 11, 2019, 11:36 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
November 01, 2020, 6:40 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

UC Berkeley

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In this project, I test whether public workers, who have already selected into a job, can be motivated with the adoption of a pro-social mission by the organization. Community health workers affiliated with the District Department of Health in KP Pakistan undergo mission-development therapy sessions for three months where they are introduced to a pro-social mission of the organization and facilitated to discuss the importance of the mission for their everyday work. With the help of the design of the experiment, I separate out whether any subsequent change in the behavior of the workers is driven by an updating of own preferences or if it is primarily driven by a change in expectation of the workplace social norms. Lastly, I use a performance-based financial incentive program to benchmark the results of the mission-development therapy sessions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Khan, Muhammad Yasir. 2020. "Mission-driven intrinsic motivation and performance of public workers." AEA RCT Registry. November 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3964
Former Citation
Khan, Muhammad Yasir. 2020. "Mission-driven intrinsic motivation and performance of public workers." AEA RCT Registry. November 01. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3964/history/78937
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details



Mission Development Sessions: These are participatory sessions where workers will be introduced to the mission of the organization through a video recording of the District Health Officer. Facilitators will help the workers discuss and deliberate over this mission statement, and what they thought of the mission of the organization. The sessions will be held once a month for three months. In the subsequent two months, the workers will share the experiences of their routine job and whether they felt any connection between the mission discussed in the first session and their routine jobs. These sessions will also include refresher training for the workers on different aspects of their job such as ante-natal care, diagnosis of common diseases and the importance of clean drinking water.

Performance-based bonus: Workers will be provided an opportunity to earn a bonus based on their performance. The maximum possible bonus is Rs. 500 per month.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1- Household visits
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The variable will be constructed using a survey of households. An independent survey team asks each household whether the worker visited them during the last calendar month or not. The survey will be conducted every month for three months with ten randomly selected households in the community of each worker.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1- Household screened for tuberculosis
2- Number of Vaccination Camps
3- Number of hours worked
4- Incidence of diseases
5- Vaccination status of children
6- Pregnant women examined
7- Children under the age of two examined
8- Underweight children

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
1,4,5,6 and 7will be measured using household survey
2 and 3 are from worker survey
8 is from administrative data reported by the workers

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This will be a randomized control trial where workers will be randomized in 8 treatment conditions.
Experimental Design Details
Group A: This is the main treatment group where the mission-development session is delivered in a group setting. About 20-30 workers gather in one place for this treatment. In this group both mechanisms of changes in preferences and social norms may be at play. The workers are informed in the first session that there will be no discussions on their performance to shut down the behavior that may be driven by an expectation to look compliant with the new norms.
Group B: Workers in this group discuss the mission in private, one-one-one, discussions with the facilitators. The private delivery of the treatment controls for the expectation about changes in social norms, at least in the very short run.
Group C: Mission treatment are delivered in a group setting but unlike Group A the participants are explicitly informed in the first session that their performance will be made observable in the third session. We will not discuss the performance individually but will keep the announcement vague to prime their belief about observability of their actions.
Group D: This group will only participate in refresher training to rule out socialization, learning and reminders as alternative explanation
Group E: The behavior of workers in group C maybe entirely driven by the expectation that their performance will be observable. To rule out that explanation this group of workers receive refresher training only but with an announcement in the first session that workers’ performance will be made observable in the third session.
Group F: This group will receive performance based bonus rewards.
Group G: This group will receive mission-development sessions and an opportunity to win performance based bonus.
Group H: This will be a pure control group, where business as usual will be maintained.

Randomization Method
Randomization is done on a computer
Randomization Unit
Workers will be randomized into treatment, blocked by mother facility.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
710 workers.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Confirmed 10 households surveyed per month for the duration of the experiment, for confirmed 710 workers.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
89 for 6 treatments , 88 for control and 88 for a placebo treatment. May increase if funding becomes available.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
April 30, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
May 31, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials