Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Intrinsic v. Extrinsic Motivation

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. There are differing views on whether intrinsic motivation (decide to do something because you like it) is more effective than extrinsic motivators (reward and punishment - carrots and sticks - such as a mechanistic reward structures usually based around financial incentives). Ideally it is achieving the right balance of the 2 that is important. This should be based on the type of work to be done, the personalities of people involved and the work environment/culture.

. There is some evidence that extrinsic motivation can reduce a person's natural inclination to complete a task and enjoy doing it. Furthermore, extrinsic motivation, such as financial incentives, may reduce intrinsic motivation plus have a negative impact upon creativity and thinking. On the other hand, there is evidence that extrinsic incentives have had a positive impact on performance, especially in rudimentary cognitive tasks.

(source: Fiona Smith, 2009p)


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