Decoupling appraisal from pay increases LO19867

John W. Gunkler (
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 11:42:22 -0600

Replying to LO19851 --

Doug Merchant writes:
>Not only is money an inefficient motivator of behavior, it can be
>ineffective as well.

I agree with this and, furthermore, can cite myriad cases where research or
attempts at intervention have shown other kinds of reward systems are much
more effective. However Doug goes too far when he says:
>That is, extrinsic rewards can reduce the intrinsic
>joy of work.

This is simply not true! There is no credible evidence of this fact and
there is laboratory evidence with humans and other animals to the
contrary. I, too, once thought this hypothesis made sense, but I'm
convinced that (no matter how commonsensical it may seem) it just isn't

Situations where extrinsic rewards seem to reduce intrinsic joy of work do
occur -- but typically other things have also changed which directly
reduce the intrinsic joy of work. In other words, it's not the addition
of extrinsic rewards that has a deleterious effect. Often what happens is
that extrinsic rewards are put in place and management then believes they
have done everything they need to do -- so they stop doing things they
once did (such as providing recognition, appreciation, informal signals of
work well done, etc.) or they make the job more demanding (or otherwise
less intrinsically satisfying) and apply extrinsic rewards as honey to
make the medicine go down.


"John W. Gunkler" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>