Question

The basic idea behind using incentives is motivation – i.e., rewards will drive performance. Your book talks a lot about the types of rewards offered, but I want us to go into more depth about the underlying motives that might cause rewards to be more/less effective.
Career analyst Dan Pink discusses the intricacies of what motivates performance in his Ted Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation.”
In his talk, Dan goes into depth about extrinsic and intrinsic motivators and their relative effectiveness on people’s performance. As stated in your text and my notes:
• extrinsic rewards are rewards that are given and controlled by another person, such as bonuses, raises, and other incentives – what we typically think of when we think of “workplace rewards”
• intrinsic rewards are rewards that come from within, such as the freedom to choose how we perform a task, pride/satisfaction in mastering a task, doing something that is personally relevant to you, or doing something that allows you to personally grow/develop
Drawing from years of research in the social sciences, he argues that extrinsic rewards (which are typically used in the workplace) are losing effectiveness in today’s workplace and managers need to rethink how to motivate and reward high performance.

After watching the video, please FULLY and COMPLETELY address the following:

1. Has Pink persuaded you about the gap between what science knows and what organizations do? Do you agree that we need to upgrade our motivational operating system? Why or why not? In your response, please refer to elements of his talk, your text, or your personal experiences to illustrate your point.

2. What are the potential counter-arguments or weaknesses to Dan’s approach to motivating performance? What additional questions/concerns did Dan’s arguments raise for you?

3. Pink claims that traditional motivational practices (extrinsic rewards) work quite well for certain types of problems/tasks, yet are ineffective (and may even do harm) for other types of tasks.
a. What are the characteristics of a problem/task where traditional motivational practices work well?
b. What are the characteristics of a problem/task where extrinsic rewards do NOT work well?

4. Pink argues that modern businesses must focus on motivational systems that emphasize three things. Describe these things, then describe specific ways in which businesses/organizations might structure their HR practices to emphasize these things.

5. Do you consider yourself to be more motivated by extrinsic or intrinsic rewards? Does this motivation preference change depending on the task you are performing? How?

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1. Has Pink persuaded you about the gap between what science knows and what organizations do? Do you agree that we need to upgrade our motivational operating system? Why or why not? In your response, please refer to elements of his talk, your text, or your personal experiences to illustrate your point.

Yes, it made me realize that what organizations do is actually different from its related science concept. I also believe that we need to rethink about ways on how we should motivate people so as to become more productive in the workplace. Pink has given the example of The Candle Problem to explain how science explains the concept of motivation. The conclusion was that people must think outside the box to become more efficient and effective in their performance.

As for my personal experience, I realized that there are certain tasks that I can do easily without thinking much about it. For example, a simple subtraction problem with multiple choices in a Math test can easily be finished. However, there are also tasks that I need to really analyze and give thought in order to provide a solution and that the solutions are limitless. For example, this could be an open-ended question about a certain political issue or an essay with my thoughts on a specific historical event....

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