Mechanism Design and the Office Holiday Party

9 December 2009 at 10:43 am 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

Holiday office parties, far from being a waste of time (and booze), can be effective screening mechanisms, according to information forwarded by Doug French:

The Banc Investment Group’s “Banc Investment Daily” email report from December 6, 2005, urged its banker readers to turn the troops loose at the holiday season, because “the holiday party serves an important professional purpose — Darwinian selection.”

It turns out that people do and say the darnedest things while under the influence. Christmas party incidents are relived over and over for years at the office. Banc Investment points out that those employees who make the holiday party highlight film, “tend to do the same things at the office, but co-workers don’t notice as much.” . . .

Holiday parties are “effective at highlighting trouble makers,” according to Banc Investment Daily. “Now while we admit that one banker’s inappropriate behavior is another’s entertainment, knowing where your trouble spots are is a gift worth opening every year.”

Of course, there’s also the entertainment value for the rank-and-file: “For us, the appeal of the holiday bank party is the same as watching NASCAR. We know the bulk of the time will be a total snooze, but you have to go to see the outfits and the spectacular crashes.”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gabrielrossman  |  9 December 2009 at 1:38 pm

    so basically it’s entrapment?

  • 2. jck  |  9 December 2009 at 2:27 pm

    A venezuelan state run company used to offer a party to the candidates to engineering
    jobs. If under influence they showed gay behavior , they were not hired.
    And if you dont drink they think as the old saying goes : if you dont drink or p.. with me , you are an enemy or a spy

  • 3. Daniel  |  9 December 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Entrapment? The bank isn’t asking for people to get drunk and make fools of themselves. The workers have a choice.

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