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Friday, March 29, 2013

Statistical Measurement of Motivation

I/O psychologists work to improve organizational’ performance, thus they are interested in finding variables that could stimulate or hinder performance of the workforce.  One important factor to affect human capital performance is motivation. Statistical analysis can be conducted to study how different types of motivations are related to workers’ performance.  To motivate employees to do better job, employers often use monetary incentives.  Past research showed that financial reward could be an effective motivational drive.  According to Herzberg (1968), an increase in salary would increase job satisfaction and result in an increase in job performance.  On the other hand, the impact of monetary incentive is highly debatable.  Drummond and Chell (1992) argued that monetary incentive does not work because once compensation has been established people are motivated by appreciation.  In fact, motivation and performance can be affected by many factors such as the work environment, corporate culture, and the organization’s policies and business strategy.  Therefore the best way to investigate effects of financial incentive on performance is to conduct a statistical analysis in the organization.  In the study, financial incentives may be given by different amount, schedule, and criteria, and accordingly performance data such as production output and quality assurance figures are collected.  The result of statistical analysis can reveal the relationship, which could be significant, insignificant, positive, or negative.  This analysis is valuable to the organization because the executive leaders can use the result to adjust current management approach in workers’  motivation.  Based on the study, financial incentive may be provided to workers in different ways, or alternative motivation methods may be applied so that maximum human capital performance is achieved with controlled overhead.  Statistics is a powerful tool for companies to improve return on investment (ROI).


Drummond, H., & Chell, E. (1992). Should organizations pay for quality? Personnel Review, 21(4), 3-3.

Herzberg, F. (1968). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Not by improving work conditions, raising salaries, or shuffling tasks. Harvard Business Review, 46(1), 53-62.

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