Impact of Rewards System on Motivation

Topic: Behavior Management
Words: 1457 Pages: 5


In psychology, motivation is defined as the process that initiates, leads, and helps one to maintain goal-oriented behaviors. For example, motivation helps an individual achieve their goals, such as losing weight or getting a job promotion. Motivation is important to people’s lives as it helps them to act in a way that helps them to get closer to their goals. The term motivation is commonly used to describe why a person does something. Therefore, it can be considered the driving force behind every individual action (Cherry, 2022). It involves factors aspects that are capable of directing and maintaining goal-directed actions. Motivation is categorized into two main types and is always described as intrinsic or extrinsic.

We mostly infer that people do things based on their observable behavior. However, sometimes people tend to lose focus after feeling motivated. To keep going, one needs to focus on what one wants to achieve, be it a need for affiliation or power. Age is one of the agents of motivation, and it plays a critical role in individual behavior. As people grow old, they tend to lose interest in many things, from daily activities and interest to learning new skills, which explains age’s impact on motivation.

Examine Assumption

Praises and public recognition are very simple acts that impact individual life. In an organisation where individuals are recognized and praised for their contribution, the employees of a such organisation tend to be highly motivated. Offering recognition and praise is cheaper as it costs nothing but is very impactful. Praises and recognition also boost employees’ self-esteem leading them to take up new challenges.

Research Summary

As indicated earlier, motivation is categorized into two major groups, and it can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation usually emanates from outside an individual. This type of motivation usually involves rewards which may be in monetary form, praises, trophies, and social recognition (Cherry, 2022). In contrast, the intrinsic type comes from within an individual and can be considered as internal, for instance, learning a skill to satisfy the individual urge to solve a problem. This research determines how motivation can be elicited by the rewards system and its impacts on an individual.

Examine Perspective

Behavior is one of the psychological perspectives that can be used to understand the motivation. Most organizations use rewards as a means of motivating their employees and also to cultivating certain behaviors. Rewards help build commitment, ensuring a high-performance standard and workforce stability. This equally applies to the biological perspective of the learning process. Rewards play a critical role in building commitment among learners. Murayama (2018) argues that rewards enhance the learning process. Murayama (2018) further states that extrinsic motivation, for instance, rewards in the form of money, can enhance learning as it can modulate the hippocampal function by the reward network in the brain.

In contrast, extrinsic motivation, such as rewards, can equally undermine the role of self-motivation when engaged in an enjoyable task, a phenomenon known as the undermining or over-justification effect. This means that people used to receiving rewards as a motivation to complete tasks fail to utilize their free will or personal initiatives; therefore, they assume that without extrinsic motivation, they cannot be motivated to perform as expected (Murayama, 2018). Using rewards, for instance, money and other benefits, as a form of motivation for an employee’s performance can only result in temporary compliance and also fails to act as long-term motivation. In the long run, when people are used to rewarding, they view it as an entitlement. Therefore, the reward system loses its value in eliciting motivation.


The idea of culture has been defined by various scholars depending on its application in a wide variety of settings. Culture has been used by various people, including researchers, to understand how people behave in a social setting. Where individualism is embraced as a culture, every member of society is expected to look after themselves and their immediate families. As opposed to individualism, collectivism is described as a culture where people, from birth onward, are unified into one strong unit (Trandis, 2018). This unit continuously protects itself from unquestioned loyalty throughout its lifetime. In societies where collectivism dominates as a culture, the employees and other members of the society are motivated to work in a single unit or team. They enjoy collaboration in solving problems and a team reward system.

The concepts of equality and competition among colleagues are unmotivating in a collectivistic society. In this culture, any reward system that embraces competition among individuals will negatively affect the employees’ motivation, unlike in individualistic culture (Trandis, 2018). In individualism, a reward system that creates competition among employees is highly recommended for motivating individuals. In this society, people majorly care about their self-interest and not a collective interest, therefore enjoying working in a competitive environment where individual efforts are rewarded.

A society can be classified as masculine or feminine when emotional gender roles are clearly defined. In general, men are supposed to possess the following traits in society: assertive, tough, and focused on material success and o the other hand, women are expected to be tender, modest, and concerned with the quality of life. In a society that embraces masculinity dimensions, there is the likelihood of gender segregation as opposed to the feminine society. In this culture, there is a job for men and jobs for women. In the masculine culture, working is very important for men.

On the other hand, in countries with a feminine culture, the job is not that important, but there are other important things such as a family bond, health, friendship, and adventures. It is important to acknowledge that in a masculine culture, where men are dominant, people live to work, while in feminine culture, people work to live (Soutschek et al., 2017). This kind of culture has the stoutest impact on motivating people. Material compensation and rewards are less valuable in countries with feminine national working cultures. Non-material rewards such as praises motivate this type of society with feminine culture. A society with feminine culture only needs to be motivated by a friendly and warm working environment with pleasant and friendly working conditions.


As a norm in the environment where I live, I always believed that a reward system that majorly rewards individuals is the best system that can elicit competition among people within the society, resulting in an improved positive outcome. However, my view toward individualism has shifted because it promotes unethical behaviors within the organization, such as unfair dismissal and unhealthy competition among employees. An environment where the reward system favors other people because of the privileges they enjoy within the organization or unethically rewards demoralizes others from working hard towards achieving their goals. This can render the reward system useless. My thinking has shifted in viewing collectivist culture as the best motivational approach most organizations can employ, where people are rewarded as a team.

A group-based reward system can elicit competition among teams resulting in the desired results. In this kind of setting, there will be limited competition among the employees, and a new culture of team effort will be created, leading to innovations and creativity. In my professional life, I would advocate collectivistic culture in any organization I will work for. Collectivism will promote organizational growth by bringing people together to share their views and provide new ideas for solving problems. Collectivism will also promote friendship among employees of the organization, limiting workplace conflicts.


Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is vital for personal growth and an individual’s overall performance. Extrinsic motivation can take various forms, and it can either be monetary, social recognition, or praise. Motivating people increase their efficiency and instill a given mentality within an organization. A reward system that motivates employees can also promote commitment; by doing so, the organization can ensure workforce stability. Reward as a form of motivation is applied in businesses and cut across to various segments of society, for instance, in learning institutions, among other institutions. Some researchers argue that the reward system over time can sometimes be rendered useless as the recipient of the rewards once used to them. This brings a feeling of self-entitlement in the rewards, where the individuals may feel demoralized if the rewards are abolished.

This puts the organizations at a crossroads on whether to abolish or continue the system. This leaves me with a question of whether their other ways that can be used to motivate employees. This will help them distinguish between a reward and their compensation so that the reward can retain its meaning. There is a necessity to conduct further research on the topic to determine whether non-monetary rewards such as bonuses and overtime can negatively impact employee motivation in women dominating culture.


Cherry, K. (2022). What is motivation? The driving force behind human actions. Verywell Mind. Web.

Murayama, K. (2018). The science of motivation. American Psychological Association. Web.

Triandis, H. C. (2018). Evaluation of individualism and collectivism. Individualism and Collectivism, 167–188.

Soutschek, A., Burke, C. J., Raja Beharelle, A., Schreiber, R., Weber, S. C., Karipidis, I. I., ten Velden, J., Weber, B., Haker, H., Kalenscher, T., & Tobler, P. N. (2017). The dopaminergic reward system underpins gender differences in social preferences. Nature News. Web.

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