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The efficient use of resources is the prerequisite for the success of climate protection at the societal level and thus for maximizing societal prosperity. At the entrepreneurial level, it is the prerequisite for cost-efficient management. Nevertheless, a principal-agent conflict often arises at the company level. Entrepreneurs are faced with the question of how they can persuade their employees to make efficient use of the operational resources made available to them.

This problem is particularly evident in the transport sector. In Germany, road traffic makes a considerable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. While fuel consumption in passenger transport is overall declining, freight transport has continued to grow significantly in recent years. Therefore, many logistic service providers use telematics systems to encourage their drivers to drive in an environmentally friendly and cost-reducing manner.

With the help of field experiments on professional drivers, we are investigating how entrepreneurs should use telematics systems in order to improve driving behavior as efficiently, effectively and sustainably as possible. In particular, we use and examine approaches of behavioral economics to intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, tournaments, incentive systems etc. With the help of a preliminary project in the form of a master’s thesis, it was possible to show that even mere information about one`s own driving behavior can lead to savings of up to 1 liter per 100 km.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Kirsten Thommes

Partner: BTU Cottbus Senftenberg (Dr. Christin Hoffmann, Dr. Jadranka Halilovic), various commercial vehicle and telematics manufacturers

Supported by IHK Cottbus, 01st January 2018 to 31st December 2020




Hoffmann, C./Thommes, K. (2020). Can digital feedback increase employee performance and energy efficiency in firms? Evidence from a field experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 180, 49-65.

Hoffmann, C./Thommes, K.: Combining Egalitarian and Proportional Sharing rules in Team Tournaments to Incentivize Energy-Efficient Behavior in a Principal-Agent Context.  Erscheint 2020 in: Organization and Environment.

Hoffmann, C./Thommes, K.: Using Loss Aversion to Incentivize Energy Efficiency in a Principal Agent Context - Evidence from a Field Experiment. Erscheint 2020 in: Economics Letters.

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