Minute control of employees’ workplace activities has been a goal of some managers and management scholars for more than 100 years. But actually exercising such control is a difficult proposition: unmotivated employees do poor work, money alone has limited motivational power, and non-pecuniary motivational efforts are generally clumsy and transparent. But with more and more people working “gig economy” jobs mediated through an app, Chicago Booth’s John Paul Rollert considers whether contemporary companies can combine behavioral insights with enormous amounts of data to more effectively guide the actions of their labor forces.

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