WEP 300 - Essay Example

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Apparently, most of the current-day corporations employ some kind of incentive program which is aimed at motivating employees by…
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Insert Relationship between Incentive and Creativity Traditionally, incentives are believed to have a high redemptive effecton creativity, hence their widespread use in today’s corporate management. Apparently, most of the current-day corporations employ some kind of incentive program which is aimed at motivating employees by linking compensation to certain performance indexes. The incentive policy is driven by the common belief that employees will perform their respective tasks in a more innovative way if a carrot is dangled to them. The benefits of incentive programs are general in nature. As such, an expanding body of evidence increasingly contradicts the incentive doctrine.
According to several experiments in laboratories, classrooms, organizational workplaces and other environments, rewards essentially weaken the very basis of interventions they are meant to support (Pink 1). The findings show that the inability of any particular incentive program can be attributed more to the insufficiency of the emotional assumptions upon which such plans are based than the seemingly botched approach taken to implement the incentive. As such, Pink (6) noted that monetary incentives blunt individual creativity. The researcher based his reasoning on economics and psychology studies. He cited the “Candle Problem” experiment by Karl Duncker, which was invented in 1945 to examine “functional fixedness” in human reasoning. The outcomes support the inefficiency of incentive-based human resource management. Duncker proved that it is not easy for an adult to solve issues facing him or her by summoning an out-of-the-box mentality. This is because humans are not bound to “iterate(ing) something new” (Pink 8). This means can be construed the general human reluctance to experiment with new objects in an innovative manner.
Similarly, Sam Glucksberg repeated the experiment in1962, but focused on the impact of monetary inducements on creativity. He established that financial incentives may actually worsen the problem of fixedness in employee thinking and functions. As such, Pink noted that a Candle Problem experiment conducted on two sets of sample employees working as a team to find a solution established that there are modest impacts of incentives on creativity between the group that was subject to incentives and the other that was not (7). However, the outcomes showed no undesirable consequence of incentives. Therefore, it can be argued that the average performance of employees is marginally better when creativity is based on incentives, but the variation is not statistically beneficial vis-à-vis the investment in such programs.
The primary reason behind the failure of incentive programs to inspire higher level of functional creativity and innovation is that such programs improve compliance in the short-term, hence not sustainable. As such, long-term costs to the organization would be considerable in terms of expenditures on maintaining incentive programs and failures to meet long-term business goals.
Generally, incentives have been known to improve employee creativity and innovation in their respective jobs. However, new research findings attribute modest outcomes of incentives to creativity, especially in the long-term. As such, incentives are only effective in enforcing short-term compliance, which is not healthy for corporate sustainability. This is especially true considering that most organizations set aside substantial budgets to sustain such programs, but with very little outcomes to show for it in the long-term.
Works Cited
Pink H. Daniel. Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2011. Read More
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