As we learned in class, intrinsic motivational proves to be more effective than extrinsic motivation. But what I left thinking was why. The majority of companies use extrinsic motivation with the exception of the overused example that is Google. But still, millions of employees main drive to work is reward. I realize that extrinsic motivation is effective during mundane, robot-like tasks, but it seems as though those aren't the only jobs that extrinsic motivation is used for. My question now is this; why doesn't extrinsic motivation work? Bonuses, incentives, and even a threat to ones job seems to all be an effective way to ensure superior performance.
To find out why, I turn to an article by Alfie Kohn. I found my answer in one simple sentence: "If a reward — money, awards, praise, or winning a contest — comes to be seen as the reason one is engaging in an activity, that activity will be viewed as less enjoyable in its own right." It all seems to make perfect sense now. Perhaps this is why I always hear people saying something along the lines of "Don't let your favorite thing to do become your job, or it won't be fun anymore." If you love traveling yet your job is to continuously travel for work day in and day out, it would probably hinder your enjoyment for it.
Perhaps that is why extrinsic motivation isn't so effective. People just don't get enjoyment out of it. Even the power of money as a reward doesn't counter balance out the lack of enjoyment. Enjoyment seems to always have the upper hand when it comes to productivity.
Another question in life answered.
Kohn, Alfie. "Studies Find Reward Often No Motivator." (1987): 1. Web. 14 Mar 2010.