• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Article Summary of Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work by Alfie Kohn

Extracts from this document...


Article Summary of "Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work" by Alfie Kohn Article Summary written by: Rahim In the article "Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work", Kohn discusses the negative impact of the widely popular reward system in organizations to motivate employees. The author begins by stating that most of the studies on this subject suggest that rewards and incentives typically end up with different outcomes than it was originally intended. Although rewards within an organization result in employees' temporary compliance, they do not create any lasting effect and in the long run are completely ineffective. Most of the Americans do not realize this as they are so much used to the reward systems in schools and at homes where both teachers and parents tie the rewards to the daily work being performed. The author cites examples of losing weight, quitting smoking and other short lived activities that are mostly performed by people with short term rewards in mind and that they revert to their previous behavior once those rewards run out. ...read more.


First, the author notes that even though salary and compensation are the factors for workers to stay with an organization, these are not the only motivational factors and that higher compensation does not guarantee better workers or increased efficiency. Second, the rewards do more harm by upsetting those employees who desired and hoped for the rewards but did not receive them eventually contributing to a negative work environment. Third, rewards create hostility and non-cooperation among colleagues and teammates who compete against rather than work with each other. As Peter R. Scholtes, senior management consultant at Joiner Associates Inc., states that with the rewards systems everybody works towards their own selfish gain and much less care to work collectively. Fourth, rewards systems let managers ignore the possible reasons for problems. Managers prefer to choose rewards systems as it requires less effort on their part compared to substitutes like positive feedback, social support, and other motivational methods. ...read more.


The author suggests that the companies should pay their employees fairly and generously so they are not preoccupied thinking about money. Further, there should be no additional rewards or incentives whatsoever. Although I agree with the author's point of view that awarding rewards encourage self interest among employees and cause other problems, I feel that without any incentive employees will have no motivations for creativity, better performance, and achievement. Companies can also risk losing their best employees if the pay and other incentives are not tied to the performance. Equity theory states that employees compare their job inputs (effort, experience, education, and competence) and outcomes (salary levels, raise, and rewards) to those of other employees (referents) and that these comparisons affect individual motivation. Similarly, expectancy theory also states that employees are motivated when they believe that their work effort will lead to a good performance appraisal which in turn will lead to organizational rewards. Therefore, it is important that organizations recognize and reward high performance appropriately. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Human Resource Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Human Resource Management essays

  1. Payment Methods and Motivational Theory.

    A step-by-step analysis of each system was completed, with relevant case studies and personal experience placed within the text acting as further examples of the advantages and disadvantages of the various payment schemes. The latter portion of the portfolio contains an appraisal of a number of Theoretical models relating to human motivation, and specifically worker motivation.

  2. The purpose of our assignment was to conduct research on whether students who work ...

    No difference was found between non-working males and females (p=0.17). Table 2 Mean scores for the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory relating to work and gender n. Mean Overall 261 159 Male 108 144.2 Female 153 169.5 Working 181 159.66 Not Working 80 156.78 Female Working 121 169.71 Female Not Working

  1. Employee Motivation. Case Study of the incentive schemes at the Jodhpur branch of ...

    O.N.G.C being an international company has sufficient resources and capital to invest. D) O.N.G.C has ISO-9001 & ISO 14001 registration. 2. WEAKNESSES A) O.N.G.C facing difficulties to produce oil from aging reservoirs. 3. OPPURTUNITY A) Energy utilization of buried coal resource (700 -1700M), estimated 63BT - Equivalent to 15000 BCM.

  2. Review of one article published in the Harvard business review

    Moreover, a suggestion for manager to use nonfinancial reward such as let employees do the work they interested by their own relational skills. It can improve productivity by motivate employees matchers their underlying interests. Below I will summary these four dimensions: 1)Influence: People got high score here always have a

  1. Executive Summary Manpower Inc.

    Responsible Philanthropy With 232 offices in 12 countries in Asia Pacific alone, the world is Manpower's community. As a result of the destruction caused by the recent tsunami, Manpower will be building a vocational training center, most likely in Nagapattinam, one of the cities that suffered the worst devastation in India.

  2. Lincoln Electric Incentive System

    Production workers are paid according to the number of good pieces they make, which means the compensation is based on the output. The reason why the Lincoln Electric is motivating its employees is to keep them satisfied with their job, to present a good performance and good customer service, to

  1. Responding to Kohn 'Why incentive plans can work'.

    Unfortunately, Kohn appears all too easily to rule out the simplest of explanations, that this ineffectiveness of the incentive scheme may have been due to ineffectual implementation. For example, an investigation into the introduction of the first performance related pay scheme at the Inland Revenue by LSE researchers found that

  2. People at work.

    (Source: Employee handbook, GECIS (India) The importance of HRM in GECIS can be gauged from the fact that it has moved from normal employee issues to strategic role of integration of HR strategy with overall business planning. As GECIS operates in a human centric industry, employees are its biggest asset.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work