Just came across a great post on the Owen Abroad blog. It's a presentation by the economist Dan Pink about the science of "motivation".
Two interesting things emerge for me. Firstly in the NGO sector, we should traditionally be solely driven by purpose rather than financial reward. Rather than salaries being high enough that people don't need to worry about the money and thus perform better, they can also be low enough (especially in the case of volunteers) that financial again is completely removed from the equation. But what happens in the new era of NGOs where CEOs are paid $150,000 and upwards? And even if there's no danger of a profit motive becoming detached from a purpose motive, does financial reward in the NGO sector introduce other dangers?
Secondly, what can this science tell us about policy-making that is driven by a carrot and stick reward system. "Conditionality" is a major driver of social welfare in both the global north (receipt of welfare being attached to a commitment by the beneficiary to seek work for example) and south (entitlement to conditional cash transfers dependent on children being in full-time education).
From this study, should policy-makers' use of motivation to get the best outcomes (for beneficiaries and taxpayers) also be challenged?