: In a narrow band of actual cases, this is true. (And by narrow, I mean anything that isn’t a cognitive task, simple or complex, according to the research I quote below). By and large, the reward-based incentive actually creates poorer performance in any group of workers for cognitive tasks, regardless of economic background or complexity of the task involved.The assumption: People perform better when given a tangible, and even substantial, reward for completing a task. Think bonuses, stock options, and huge booze-driven parties.
Follow the link for an interesting video from a TED talk by Daniel Pink. He explains how these factors are the true motivators for most knowledge workers: