Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Making People Happy Can Be Better Motivator Than Higher Pay for Workers

08.08.2012
A sense of belonging and attachment to a group of co-workers is a better motivator for some employees than money, according to a new study by University of Iowa researchers.

“We found that self-managing teams exhibit increased performance when they are highly cohesive,” says Greg Stewart, Henry B. Tippie Research Professor of Management and Organizations in the UI Tippie College of Business. “Peer pressure is a strong motivating force, and workers’ willingness to please people who mean something to them is often a stronger motivating force than financial rewards.”

Stewart’s group studied how members of self-managed teams allotted pay raises for other members of their team. They studied 587 workers in 45 self-managing teams at three factories in Iowa. In each of the 45 teams, teammates were allowed varying degrees of input into how much their teammates should be compensated for their work, and the researchers studied those compensation decisions.

Using questionnaires, they asked the workers about their level of attraction to the team and their compensation, and asked their supervisors about the productivity of both individuals and teams.

“In high functioning teams the group takes over most of the management function themselves,” says Stephen Courtright, assistant professor at Texas A&M University who recently received his doctoral degree from UI and was a member of the research group. “They work with each other, they encourage and support each other, and they coordinate with outside teams. They collectively perform the role of a good manager.”

He says it makes sense that the team would make sound compensation decisions because they’re the ones who work with their team members, after all, and are in the best position to observe their performance.

Stewart says the study confirms what prior research has found, that pleasing other people is a powerful motivating factor. In other words, Courtright says peer pressure is an important social force beyond junior high school. In this case, workers don’t want to disappoint their team members, so appealing to team spirit is more effective even than money as a motivating tool.

“We all have a social need to be accepted, to identify with a group and be a part of it,” says Stewart. “So much so that peer pressure from team members is more effective than money in prompting strong performances from workers.”

However, this works only when team members get along. When they don’t, then self-managed teams perform worse than cohesive teams. When team members don’t much care for each other, Courtright says appealing to team spirit as a motivating factor won’t work because there is no team spirit to appeal to, so money becomes the primary motivating factor to improve productivity.

“Teams perform better when there is social pressure from peers to perform well than when peers wave a carrot and stick,” Courtright says. “However, the carrot and stick method works pretty well when team members just can't get along.”

The study, “Peer-Based Control in Self-Managing Teams,” was co-authored with Murray Barrick of Texas A&M University. It was published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology. It’s available online at psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/97/2/435.html.

Greg Stewart, professor of management & organizations, greg-stewart@uiowa.edu, 319-335-1947; Tom Snee, University News Service, tom-snee@uiowa.edu, 319-384-001 (o) 319-541-8434 (c)

Tom Snee | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>