Review and Analysis of Articles Published on Incentives in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management

Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Douglas Johnson

Second Advisor

Charlene Lee


The search for the ideal monetary incentive system has been researched and analyzed extensively by organizational behavior analysts. The importance of finding the optimal method of managing an employee’s pay is important, especially since employee compensation typically accounts for 60 to 80 percent of an organization’s total production costs (Smoot & Phillip, 1997). Managing employee compensation in a manner that will increase total output and productivity while simultaneously decreasing overall production costs is the ideal outcome for any organization when implementing incentive systems. Reviewing the research and experiments that have been conducted on this topic has highlighted several aspects of incentives that researchers have been studying, such as the ideal percentage of base pay to incentive pay, whether or not to incorporate feedback and goals into the reward system, and how to deliver the contingent rewards among employees. Throughout this paper, all of the articles that have been published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management on monetary incentives will be analyzed and reviewed in order to delve further into the question of what the ideal monetary incentive system consists of.

One of the biggest concerns with the research that has been conducted on incentives is the transferability of the results from a laboratory setting to an actual work setting. Much of the research has been done in a laboratory for several reasons, the most important being the ease of doing so. More research should also be conducted on the effects of assigning ability-based goals to reward plans. Goals serve as a marker that the employee must meet in order to earn the incentive, and it encourages the employee to work beyond the standard criteria. Given the relative ease of assigning goals to employees, this would serve as a cost-effective addition to an incentive system and should be further researched to solidify the effectiveness of such a system.


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