For the Folly Of Rewarding A While Hoping For N

 On The Folly Of Worthwhile A While Hoping For B Composition

For the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B

Author(s): Steven Kerr

Source: The Academy of Management Log, Vol. 18, No . 5 (Dec., 1975), pp. 769-783 Published by: Academy of Management

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Designs are presented from world in general, and

from companies in particular, of reward devices that

" pay off" for one tendencies even though the rewarder

hopes very much for another. Helpings of the reward systems

of your manufacturing business and an insurance firm happen to be

examined plus the consequences talked about.

Whether working with monkeys, mice, or humans, it is barely controversial to state that most creatures seek information with regards to what activities are compensated, and then keep pace with do (or at least pretend to do) those techniques, often to the virtual exemption of activities not rewarded. The extent to which this kind of occurs naturally will depend on the perceived charm of the rewardsoffered, but not operant neither expectancy theorists would quarrel with the fact of this idea.

Nevertheless, numerous examples are present of prize systems that are fouled in that actions which are paid are those that the rewarder is trying to discourage, as the behavior this individual desires can be not being compensated at all. In an effort to understand and explain this kind of phenomenon, this paper reveals examples from society, from organizations generally speaking, and from profit producing firms specifically. Data coming from a manufacturingcompany and data from an insurance firm will be examined to demonstrate the consequences of such praise systems for the businesses involved, and possible main reasons why such praise systems persist are considered. SOCIETAL EXAMPLES


Official goals are " purposelyvague and general and don't indicate... the host of decisions that must be manufactured among alternativeways of obtaining official goals and the goal of multiple goals


. "

(8, p. 66).

They will

Steven Kerr (Ph. G. -City School of New York) is Connect Professor of Organizational Habit, College of Administrative Research, The Kentkucky State University, Columbus, Ohio.


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usually may be counted on to upset absolutely no 1, and in this sense may very well be high popularity, low quality desired goals. An example might be " build better educational institutions. " Practical, effectual goals happen to be higher in quality although lower in acknowledgement, since they identify where the cash will come from, what alternativegoals will be ignored, etc .

The American citizenry supposedly would like its candidates for community office to set forth surgical goals, making their proposed programs " perfectly very clear, " indicating sources and uses of funds, and so forth However , seeing that operative goals are reduced acceptance, as aspirants to public office need approval (from for least 55. 1 percent from the people), most politicians want to speak just of official...

References: 1 . Barnard, Chester I. The Functions with the Executive (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964).

installment payments on your Blau, Philip M., and W. Rich Scott. Formal Organizations(San Francisco: Chandler,


5. Kerr, Steven. " Some Adjustments in MBO as a great OD Technique, " Schools of Managing Proceedings, 1973, pp. 39-42.

6. Kerr, Steven. " What Price Objectivity? " American Sociologist, Volume. 8 (1973), 92-93.

six. Litwin, G. H., and R. A. Stringer, Junior. Motivation and Organizational Local climate (Boston:

HarvardUniversity Press, 1968).

Ill.: Irwin, 1965).

twelve. Simon, Herbert A. AdministrativeBehavior (New You are able to: Free Press, 1957).

Diary of Sociology, Vol. 79 (1972), 702-705.

Relations Middle, McGill University or college, 1964).