Abstract：It is an indisputable fact that the resources and resources for human survival such as air and water are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Whether these shortages of external environment resources will affect employees' preference on both time and money remuneration, the current research on organizational behavior and human resources both at home and abroad is still very few, although this exploration has important theoretical value and Practical significance.When people are exposed to a resource (i.e. external resources and internal resources) scarcity situation, do their choice preferences between time and money change? Based on Life History Theory, the thesis explores the employees’ choice preference between time and money when different types of resources are scarce.
This paper tests the hypotheses by conducting three experiments. Experiment 1 in which external job resources are primed to be scarce, uses a external resource scarcity (resource scarcity vs. not resource scarcity vs. control) one factor between-subjects design, with the choice between time and money as dependent variables. This experiment aims to test whether resource scarcity affects employee’s choice between monetary reward and time reward. Experiment 2 in which external natural resources are primed to be scarce, uses a external resource scarcity (resource scarcity vs. not resource scarcity vs. control) one factor between-subjects design, with the choice between time and money as dependent variables. Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 are laboratory experiments with college students as sample,which aims to test the intermediary effect of mental representation and the mediation effect of materialistic values. Experiment 3 uses a field experiment, which takes a sample of employees as a sample to test their real pay preference.
Across Experiments 1,2,3, we found that compared to the no-scarcity condition and the baseline condition, a larger percentages of participants in the external resources scarcity condition chose monetary rewards rather than time rewards. This phenomenon occurred because when exposed to a resource scarcity situation, participants’ mental representation became more concrete, thus they choose concrete monetary reward. And we found that individual differences in materialistic value matters, such that employees scoring low in materialism value scale do not prefer monetary reward although they were exposed to resource-scarcity cues.
Through testing whether, how and when the different types of resource scarcity will influence employees’ monetary versus time reward preference, this paper makes significant theoretical advances to existing research on time and money preference and on resource scarcity. Companies can use the conclusion we get in this paper to guide their human resource practices.