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 Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>