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Project Team Rewards
Literature Review
3.4.3.  Reward Decision
This section analyses the reward decision, respectively the question ‘rewarding or not
Gale (2004) highlights the importance of both organisational and individual culture
(later in terms of personality) as important factors to decide if to reward employees. As a
higher entrepreneurial culture is developed, the more likely rewards will be used, while a
bureaucratic culture demands a fixed salary, without rewards. Slavin (1991) argues, that
task characteristics need consideration. Rewards were only necessary and beneficial if
skill variety, task identity, task significance, task autonomy, and task feedback are low and
hence the job is not intrinsically motivating. He provides a plausible example:
“I don't know many students who would put away their Nintendo games to do
complex math problems, to write reports on the economy of Brazil, to write essays
comparing Shakespeare and Molière, or to learn to use the subjunctive case in
French. Students will productively fool around with science equipment or learn
from visits to museums, and there is no reason to reward such intrinsically
motivating activities.” (Slavin 1991:90)
Available tools for assessing employees may influence the reward decision in
combination with the task characteristics (Torrington et al. 2002). For instance, simple
tasks are easier to assess (Torrington et al. 2002). Sometimes the assessment even can be
done by automatic surveillance systems. In contrast, complex and difficult tasks need
skilled assessors who know how do apply and perform tools such as 360°
feedbacks (McKeown 2002). Hence, the more certain a ‘good’ assessment is, the more
likely rewards should be used (Armstrong & Murlis 2004)
These findings contradict the extreme perspectives
who claim that always one answer
exists. In addition, the reward proponents (both, the modest and the extreme ones) criticise
the strong focus on intrinsic motivation of the reward opponents. Winter (in Poeten 2002)
Based on equity theory, a good assessment is an assessment that is perceived fair by all stakeholders.
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