Reward Systems LO13736

Tony Barrett (tonyb@RESNET.UIDAHO.EDU)
Tue, 27 May 1997 11:15:19 PST

Replying to Ed when he wrote in LO13699 --

> Re: Extrinsic & Intrinsic reward systems.
> Is there really a choice here? My sense about rewards and motivation is
> that it is an art, not a science. I know organizations have to systemize
> their compensation packages. But the problem is not in which should have
> priority, extrinsic or intrinsic rewards. The problem is that for each
> individual it is a moving target, everyday. Some days financial concerns
> motivate me to work, other days the love of work, other days, commitment
> to solving the problems presented to me. We aren't such simple people
> that one approach to rewards is sufficient.


I agree that question is not an either/or situation. Alfie Cohen in
"Punished By Rewards" suggests that that intrinsic rewards will not work
if a worker isn't making a wage they can live on. Poorly paid workers
rarely find enjoyment from their work. Work is simply a means to an end.

On the other hand, listen to what my "boss" wrote to the entire department
regarding an upcoming picnic. (Roger is the director) "Roger won't be able
to be there that day as he'll be out of town on business but I can
guarantee you he will ask how any attended and who was not there." Both
the carrot and the stick! This after I have discussed the advantage of
intrinsic rewards with him.

Now, of course, most of these state employee start at less than $6.00 an
hour. I know one fellow who has worked for this University for 17 years
and he is only making $7.50 an hour. The state of Idaho would rather put
money into prisons than into eduation. Enough of my bitching.

Warm regards,


Tony Barrett
University Residences, University of Idaho
Voice: (208) 885-5848 FAX: (208) 885-4558
Email: Web Site:


"Tony Barrett" <tonyb@RESNET.UIDAHO.EDU>

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