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Anne Farrell, Assistant Professor of Accountancy

A virtual delicatessen plays an important role in Anne Farrell's research into the role incentive plans play in the workplace. It is the give and take between the frequently competing elements of quantity and quality that are the foundation of Farrell's research program.

Farrell has student deli workers construct multi-layered cyber sandwiches using an online program that keeps track of the time it takes to make a sandwich and the proper stacking of the ingredients. Initially students are "paid" based on the sandwiches they sell. Even if they make a lot of mistakes constructing a sandwich, they can still earn a bonus, an appealing compensation structure. The focus switches to quality rather than speed when Farrell changes the compensation model to reward workers who make sandwiches perfectly. Emphasizing quality impacts production.

"One compensation program doesn't fit all workers," she says. "You need to know if you're hiring people who intend to remain with the firm for the long-term or not. And you need to design their incentive plans accordingly."

Farrell teaches undergraduate and graduate students managerial and cost accounting.

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