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Authored by: Juliana Schroedar and Ayelet Fishbach

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191308515000052

Every organization has its own goals and they must know how to motivate their employees to achieve
those goals. In the article we review about 3 categories of Motivation: Giving Feedback, Setting Goals
and about incentives. Though they are strong motivational factors there are also disadvantages of
these theories. An organization needs to take several measures to apply these theories and a regular
follow-up is also required. Many thinkers have accepted this as the basic organizational motivating
strategies and they are well planned and explained in the article.


To achieve one’s goals, a person must have feedbacks so that he or she can put in a lot of efforts to
accomplish their goals. Feedbacks can be of two types, positive and negative feedback. Feedback
which focusses on the person’s accomplishments and strengths is called positive feedback and the
lack of accomplishments and weakness is called negative feedback. Both positive and negative
feedback can effectively motivate action, but their effectiveness depends on two factors i.e., action
representation and experience. Action representation refers to when a single goal-directed behavior
is interpreted by the actor as progress towards a goal or as commitment toward a goal. For example,
behaviors at the beginning of goal pursuit are often interpreted as commitment, whereas behaviors
at the end of goal pursuit feel like progress. It is highly recommended to use more positive feedback
towards the beginning of goal pursuit but more negative feedback towards the end of goal pursuit.
Now having said that, the feedback-recipient’s relationship with the feedback-giver can affect
responsiveness to type of feedback. It is usually the negative feedback that is sought and received
more when recipients and givers are in close relationships.

2. Goal Targets
Setting goal targets such as performance standards and deadlines is a common practice. As
the research suggests that people tend to work harder when goals are set to them. Here first
we suggest that goal target can increase motivation but also can be overchallenging or
narrow. Second, we suggest that the course of goal pursuit affects how motivating or
demotivating a goal target is. Finally, we distinguish when a person is just motivated to
accomplish a goal versus when a person is motivated to accomplish a goal with highest
possible quality. Specific goal target can cause a higher level of task performance than the
easy goals. Further the researchers also identified 4 conditions under which goals are less
effective. First, feedback is necessary for a person to track their progress. Second people must
be committed to that goal for goal setting to be effective. Third, If the tasks are complex then
it is more difficult in acquiring knowledge as well as setting goals. Finally, role overload may
can also affect goal setting.

3. Incentives
Incentives are very important for an organisation’s success and stability. Giving incentives
motivates the employees. But having said that, firstly it should also be kept in mind that it is
given as soon as the task is completed, Delays can demotivate the employees. As from the
experiments it is evident that more than the size the time of the incentives matters. Small and
quick incentives are preferred more than big and delayed incentives in other word the same
reward will be less valued if it is delayed. But sometimes short-term incentives can diminish
the long-term goal of oneself and it can become a reason of demotivation. Secondly, the
incentives are celebrated more when they are uncertain. From researches, we got to know
that people tend to enjoy more and feel more satisfied when they get uncertain awards, gifts
or recognitions. Also, people tend to do better in hope of next uncertain gifts. Thirdly,
Incentives are of two types Extrinsic and Intrinsic. Extrinsic incentives are giving an employee
monetary perks and other benefits and Intrinsic incentive is giving them a reason to come and
work for the organisation by valuing their work and giving them recognition. Neither any one
of Extrinsic or intrinsic can motivate a person, somewhere a perfect blend of both is needed
for an organisation to keep their employee motivated.


This article revolves around one main topic called motivation, motivation means Internal and external
factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a
job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal or motivation is the process that account for
an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. Motivation is a
very important aspect in an organisation and this esteemed job is been handled by the HR department
or by the immediate managers in the organisation. Motivation is what drives an individual to work or
accomplish a job in an organisation. According to this article motivation has 3 strategies or categories,
1. Giving Feedback, 2. Setting goal targets and 3. Providing incentives. Each strategy has its own way
of functioning to build motivation or to help employees build or accomplish their goals and not just
the goal but also these strategies are approved world wide as these are the basic strategies that can
motivate employees for accomplishing the goal.

We did not just learn about motivation in this article but also how to motivate others and as to what
human psychology really craves for or what does it take to wilfully complete a work, this article is
more of organisational motivation than just motivation.
1. Feedback is a very important aspect as who doesn’t want to get a feedback, a housewife cooks
food and expects her husband to comment on it, that is feedback. Every work or job you do
with effort, you expect a feedback. Feedbacks makes us more encouraging to complete a job
or it gives satisfaction of completing a job wilfully, it encourages to do our next job more
focused and with more effort as we can get more good remarks for the next job done. If it is
a negative feedback it also a type of motivation where the individual tries to attain it with
more effort as he does not want to get the negative feedback again. There also both
advantage and disadvantage of both positive and negative feedback. Too much of positive
feedback can make the employee feel he is always right and that build a sense of complexity
in him and too much of negative feedback can make the employee feel ashamed and may
result in low productivity in the future work.
2. Setting goal targets is also motivation which is done before starting a job or while planning
about the procedure. An organisation needs to set goals because that drives an employee to
finish his work more quickly than just asking him to work. By setting goals it drives an
employee to finish it in certain period of time which makes them give their best in that
stipulated time and makes them more productive and by accomplishing that a new goal can
be set to make them achieve and then this goes on. Setting of goal makes the employee clear
in his views and approach towards attaining the goal, he can play it and then start working.
Setting of goal makes the employee motivated to accomplish it in the given time.
3. If setting of goal is done before the starting of a process, providing incentives is done after
accomplishing a process, providing incentives is a type of motivation where employee works
harder to get the required benefits if he completes that particular job in that stipulated time.
It makes him work harder. In an organisation incentive can be bonuses, promotion or transfer
to a favourable branch or etc. and the article speaks skilfully about extrinsic and intrinsic

We found the article very informative and we learnt more about motivation and being
management students or future managers, we need to work in an environment with low
performers and how to motivate them is also learnt and motivation being a fun topic to
discuss with the group, we had many cross questions and brain storming. According to our
groups discussion the article covers important aspects of motivation. We liked the way the
article gives a clear understanding as it also explains the sub topics covered under each topic
and the examples given in the article made it the article easy to understand.

UPO Concepts connected:

Goal setting Theory:
Edwin Locke in the late 1960s proposed that intentions to work toward a goal are a major
source of work motivation. Goals tell an employee what needs to be done and how much
effort needs to be put to complete and his theory also explains about feedback. More difficult
the goal, higher level of performance. Challenging goals get our attention and thus tend to
help us focus.
Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory:
This theory is a chain of events, where it speaks about Effort to put which turns into good
performance and performance into reward and reward converts into personal goals. Here we
can see the strategy of an employee working for incentives or an employee who is driven by

Cognitive evaluation Theory:

This theory speaks the negative side of employees being attracted to incentives. This theory
hypothesizes extrinsic reward will reduce intrinsic reward in a task.