Reward Systems for Learning LO17422

Walter Derzko (
Sun, 15 Mar 1998 10:39:16 -0800

Replying to: Goodwill of Org.. or Society? LO17413
by Jeff Blumberg <> writes in: Re:

> There are at least two issues involved in the intellectual capital debate.
> How to put a "VALUE" on human-capital who generate future returns, and the
> affect on "BEHAVIOUR" by knowing that perhaps intellectual capital is on
> a downward trend, for example.

Rob Kling, Indiana University, who was the key note speaker at the I.P.
Sharp Lecture in Information Science at the University of Toronto on Fri.
March 13, 1998, discussed the often present-conflict between Intellectual
Capital (IC) and expected Behavior, referring it back to the "productivity

He cited a study (sorry no reference mentioned) that explored the
introduction of Lotus Notes at Price Waterhouse. The goal of introducing
Notes was to promote collaboration, share what people know and explore
solutions to common problems across disciplines and geographic locations.

The IT people, as expected were rapid adapters, and early and high users
of Notes. The Washington-based tax consultants saw Notes as a broadcast
and visibility-increasing tool and not as a collaboration tool. Since both
groups were on salary and could find the time to learn Notes.

The Partner consultants and associate consultants, however had different
personal incentives for using Notes.

The associate consultants and full Partners, as it turns out, were low to
moderate users because at the end of the day consultants are assessed on
the number of billable client hours. Low hours and you are likely to get
"cut" at the next round of reviews. So in order to learn to use Lotus
Notes, they had to find an client account in which they could "hide" the
time and costs to learn to use Notes, since at the time, training wasn't
provided by PW.

So as it turns out the direct and indirect reward and compensation systems
will have an immediate effect on outcomes of behavior and effects of IC.

For anyone interested in an in-depth review of this topic, we will be
discussing research done at MacMaster University on reward & compensation
systems for fostering Innovation and IC at the next meeting of the
Creativity Consortium on March 25 in Toronto.

Walter Derzko
Director Brain Space
(formerly the Idea Lab at
the Design Exchange)
(416) 588-1122


"Walter Derzko" <>

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