Reward Systems LO13701

Shun Chou (
Thu, 22 May 1997 15:52:28 -0900 (PDT)

Replying to LO13667 --

Roxanne Abas wrote:

>I have come to believe through my experience that extrinsic rewards are
>often counter-productive in their effect on people and the organization.
>Rewards systems are generally designed as control tools, but they often
>serve to limit potential or even misdirect the efforts of employees.
>Still, I believe that there may be a place for them in situations where
>the work itself is so routine or unpleasant that it offers no intrinsic
>reward or when the job requires unusually long work hours which deprive
>the e mployee of the pleasure of a balanced life.

>I would like to encourage you to post your message on web site, which
>serves as a Dialogue Group specifically for compensation professionals.
>We currently have about 60 participants who are all very interested in
>topic of your research. I also have an extensive reading list I could
>offer you off-line if you send me a note.

You think that extrinsic reward system can be of assistance in some
situations. You spoke of unattractive work etc. Do you think that there're
other contingency factors that may be relevant? For instance the kind of
learning you want to achieve?

So far I have discerned two are broad categories of learning in
literature. One categorie dealing with insight (generative learning,
double loop learning, etc.) The other categorie deals with knowledge
acquisition and is quite diverse. The word "learning" here has been used
for planning (de Geus), action learning (Revans), learning by doing
(Epple, Argote, Devadas), acquisition of innovative knowledge (almost
everbody). These two categories are based upon a certain organizational
perspective (the organization as a system). People who think abou the
organization in other terms can develop even more meanings for "learning".
For instance when mainly looking to the organization as a structure, would
make people think about "learning" as structural change (Argyris & Schon,

I think some of these concepts of "learning" can be stimulated by
extrinsic reward systems and other concepts not. For instance "learning by
doing" should be a susceptible candidate for extrinsic motivation, on
account of the fact that you can measure it objectively.

[ I would love to have your reading list. Your offer is very much

Friendly greetings,

Shun Chou


Shun Chou <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>