Marco a. Barrenechea-méndez, Pedro Ortín-Ángel, Eduardo C. Rodes
This paper provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of an under-explored consequence of granting autonomy to workers: monitoring. In the principal-agent model that we develop, granting autonomy allows workers to carry out innovative tasks in the workplace. Given that innovative tasks are more difficult to monitor, the model predicts a positive relationship between autonomy and monitoring. Relying on information about blue-collar workers coming from a dataset of Spanish industrial plants, we provide strong support for this prediction.