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Influences of Extrinsic Motivation Techniques


Parallon Workforce Management Solutions falls under the Workforce Management umbrella. An organization still in its infancy, and financially supported and entrusted by HCA, a hospital organization mogul in its industry. Currently, the DHP (Dependent Healthcare Professional) Credentialing department has begun to make its presence in the area since mid-2007; today it has gradually increased its employee base and has tremendously more than quadrupled its customer base. Having a centralized corporate office in Sunrise, FL has allowed for many job opportunities in the south Florida area.

As the Finance Director, overall responsibilities include, but are not limited to overseeing the financial records of the department, communicating with staff accountants and accounts payable/receivable on a regular basis. Create process flows for financial purposes, create and decipher financial projections for the department. Accurately running and reading financial reports and statements; and having an overall healthy attitude towards the organization.

Organization Overview

“Workforce Management Solutions is an industry leader in healthcare staffing management, enhancing our customers’ quality of care and providing unique technologies to deliver unparalleled efficiencies.

Since our inception in 1993, we have been providing staffing resources for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services. Currently, we serve hundreds of hospitals, ambulatory service facilities and outpatient centers nationwide, placing thousands of healthcare professionals each year. We offer every client full-service solutions that include contingent staffing, recruiting and enhanced productivity and scheduling technology. Our full-service, integrated business model encompasses: Per Diem Staffing – These comprehensive contracting services meet every need, from background checks and orientation to scheduling technology and systems training.

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We have 11 per diem staffing offices nationwide, having logged more than 3.3 million hours of work at pre-negotiated, below-market rates. Travel Staffing – Customers benefit from the services of 900+ traveling nurses and allied health professionals while Workforce Management Solutions takes on all the associated administrative and logistical burdens.

Integrated Staffing and Scheduling Technology – Our custom-designed, proprietary online facility scheduling system enhances efficiency, saves money, provides for the optimization of schedules and empowers hospital staff members. Our Facility Scheduler allows employees to self-schedule with no hardware to purchase or software to install. Additional software components include volume forecasting. Staff Scheduling Redesign and Consulting – Our highly scalable, customizable technology helps managers create staffing schedules that accurately match rising and falling workloads. We train your team to plan, monitor and control staffing so needs and expectations are met efficiently and cost effectively. Permanent Placement and Recruiting – We are experts at providing professional staff and management-level recruiting solutions to our clients in the areas of nursing, medical imaging, allied health and case management” (“Parallon workforce management,” 2011).

In addition, Parallon Workforce Management Solution houses a wonderful portfolio under its umbrella of business initiative: “Parallon’s full portfolio of unique business solutions includes group purchasing, staffing management, supply chain, project management, revenue cycle and other business processes. Parallon Business Solutions offers a comprehensive solution that no other company can claim. As partners, we work in parallel to deliver customized solutions that ensure your success. As fellow operators, we understand your challenges and continually innovate to respond to the needs of a dynamic marketplace. Business Performance Group est. 2000, offers end-to-end revenue cycle services from patient registration to billing and collections, and everything in between. To meet the needs of our providers we have expanded our capabilities to deliver a wide range of additional processes. We tailor our service to your needs—whether providing a single solution or dedicating our full resources and scale as your outsourced partner. HealthTrust Purchasing Group, est. 1999, is the only committed model group purchasing organization.

The foundation of our success is aligned decision making and compliance across our 1,400+ member partners. The result is a comprehensive portfolio that is consistently 10 percent better than any other purchasing alliance. Supply Chain Solutions has successfully transformed over 170 facilities with its shared services platform, resulting in over $1 billion in documented savings. With more than 10 years of progressive experience, the strength of Parallon is our people, processes and proven results. Because we are supply chain operators like you, we invite you to tour our facilities and see the innovation in action. Workforce Management Solutions, est. 1993, began as a provider to the largest employer of nurses in the country. We offer our services—training and credentialing, optimal high-caliber staffing placement, recruiting alternatives and industry-leading scheduling technology—creating unparalleled value and efficiencies” (“Parallon workforce management,” 2011).

Preliminary Problem Statement

The DHP Credentialing department at PWMS has a poor management structure, unequipped to handle the influx of applicants filtering on a daily basis. Inability to create, and sustain acceptable customer service practices, constant increase workloads and entry level employees with no vision, direction, or view of elevation/ advancement within the organization. All of these factors and determinants have led to overall employee dissatisfaction, resentments, disloyalty, and unenthusiastic with regards to the organization, department, and job. This paper will attempt to answer the following question: Can employee satisfaction, and productivity increase with the aid of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? The paper will delve deeper into particular philosophies and studies as conducted by Abraham Maslow, who suggest these goals to be obtainable through a hierarchy of human behavior and needs.

Literature Review/Synopsis
Personal Mastery and Authentic Leadership
falseDhiman, Satinder.Organization Development Journal29. 2 (Summer 2011)

This paper links personal mastery and authenticity to effective leadership on the premise that our leadership style is an extension of who we are. The findings of humanistic, existential, and positive psychology are explored to suggest a pathway to the art and science of human flourishing. The paper utilizes a synergistic exploratory research design to understand the relationship between personal mastery, authenticity, and leadership within the overarching concept of human flourishing. It builds on the work of Abraham Maslow, Victor Frankl, Peter Senge, Steven Covey, and Michael Ray in illuminating the concept of personal mastery.

It also briefly reviews the recent work of positive psychologists such Martin Seligman, Ed Diener, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to explore the emerging field of human flourishing by creating a conscious link between personal mastery, subjective well-being, and authentic happiness. Based on the findings, humanistic existential and positive psychology thinkers striking similarities are evident when it comes to the essentials of human flourishing.

Maslow and Management: Universally Applicable or Idiosyncratic? falseJelavic, Matthew; Ogilvie, Kristie.The Canadian Manager34. 4 (Winter 2009)

For scholars and practitioners of psychology, one of the most often-cited theories of human motivation is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s categorization of these human needs into physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization are not often referenced within the context of the management science, where a discrete hard science process of a formula is apparent for the answer in how a manager motivates their workers. Rather, instances cited are tied to context that varies from each situation presented, which also can change over time and culture.

Yet recent disciplines, such as Organizational Behavior and Leadership, have begun to take from sociology and psychology the dynamics to understand the person, teams, and organizational effects of these theories. The integration between motivational theories, such as Maslow and differences between cultures, such as Hofstede (1980a, 1980b), bears discussion necessary to be applicable in today’s global environment. The implications of societal culture and needs to the management education field are particularly important.

The Influence of Maslow’s Humanistic Views on an Employee’s Motivation to Learn falseWilson, Ian; Madsen, Susan R. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship13. 2 (Apr 2008) Continual employee training and learning is critical to the ability of organizations to adapt to an ever changing national and international business environment. What motivates employees to learn? Abraham Maslow has had a significant impact on motivation theory, humanistic psychology, and subsequently, adult learning in the workplace. This paper discusses the development of Maslow’s humanistic views and traces their impact on past trends in business training as well as the implications for current challenges that managers face in motivating employee learning in the workplace.

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Intrinsic motivation relates to people who work more for the love of their job than for the money they receive. People who have a job that they love make a living from something that they find inherently satisfying. People more commonly find intrinsic motivation in careers that involve high levels of skill and creativity, aspects that increase a person’s absorption in their work. Employers provide extrinsic motivation in the form of pay, benefits and other programs designed to appeal to employees. A worker motivated by extrinsic factors may be there solely for the money and other benefits. This doesn’t mean that people in high-paying jobs lack intrinsic motivation, but that extrinsic motivation in terms of pay and benefits may be enough to keep them working at a job even if they don’t like it. The ideal situation for most employees is to find a job that features high levels of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Before we delve into what Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation is, it is thus vital to understand what motivation is and why is it important to motivate employees.

Hence so, motivation could be defined as the driving force within individuals that encourages them to go ahead and perform the tasks, in order to achieve their intended needs and expectations. In other words, it is a set of reasons that eventually drags an individual to perform a particular task convincing that they could fulfill their needs and expectations, once the task is performed. Motivating employees is not an easy task, due to the fact that what motivates employees seems to change overtime. To say, different employees are motivated in different ways according to their needs. For example, one employee will be motivated to do his task by way of responsibility, while on the other hand another employee will be motivated by monetary rewards. However, it is possible to motivate an employee only if they want to be motivated. As a result, it is thus vital to identify the reason and create the atmosphere that encourages the non-performing employees to refresh and motivate themselves. In other words, it is thus important to try and find out what really motivates the employee.

Trying to motivate an employee by wrong means could thus lead to a waste of money, time and so on, while paving way to de-motivate the employee more. Having said that, highly motivated employees are considered to be true assets for any organization; once motivated, they basically tend to be more productive, energetic, and very mush eager to take on additional responsibilities, and thus pleasant to be with and work with. However, on the other hand it should be said that there also tends to be non performing employees as well almost in every organization. Therefore, in such circumstances they basically have to look for deal with the obstacles by going and identifying the unmotivated employees and turning them around if the organizations are to be successful. In spite of that; when it comes to motivating employees this could be done intrinsically or extrinsically by using either intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. When it comes to intrinsic motivation, this basically means that employees are motivated to do a particular task because of the pleasure or satisfaction that they get in performing the task itself.

In other words, intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual rather than from extrinsic rewards such as monetary incentives etc. An employee who tends to be intrinsically motivated could be motivated by internal factors such as recognition, responsibility, growth and advancement. If an employee is to be motivated by intrinsic rewards, then this means that what the employee really wants is a job that interests him, a challenging work environment, and the responsibility to perform the task etc. in order to motivate him. For example, an intrinsically motivated person will perform a task given to him willingly, either because he might find the task challenging or else interesting and satisfied with completing it. To say, and not with the intention of getting other rewards. This is due to the fact the external rewards hardly motivate these employees. As a result, intrinsic motivation tends to be very much effective in the long run as the employees perform the tasks willingly because it interests them, rather than trying to escape from it once the job is done.

Extrinsic motivation on the other hand is when the employees are thus motivated by means of external rewards. External rewards basically consist of monetary incentives and grades etc. The employees are involved in performing a particular task is because of the external rewards that gives them satisfaction and pleasure, and not because they are interested in it. In other means, extrinsic motivation drives an employee to do things especially for tangible rewards or pressure, rather than for the fun of it. Extrinsic motivators can be either positive or negative. To say, it is thus possible to use positive motivators such as monetary rewards or negative such as threats or bribery to motivate them extrinsically. Extrinsic motivators basically focus the employees on rewards rather than actions. For example, employees will perform tasks though they are not quite interested in it, thus because of the rewards involved with it. To say, some people will not want to do the work willingly, but rather they are motivated to do so by external rewards. However in reality, extrinsic rewards do motivate employee’s only short term.

This is because the extrinsically motivated employees will do their work only as long as they receive their rewards and thereafter will stop performing the tasks, once the rewards are no longer there. Having looked at both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, it could be said that intrinsic motivation is far stronger than extrinsic motivation when it comes to motivate employees in the long run. This is because the intrinsically motivated employees will continue to perform better day after day as long they find the work interesting and satisfied. It doesn’t mean that extrinsic motivation should not be used, but this is not the ideal way to long motivate the employees. To say, extrinsically motivated employees will only find what they do to interesting as long as they receive the rewards which can either be positive or negative.

And hence in order to motivate them to increase performance, then they will have to be given more rewards than before. If not, they will only be de-motivated. Not only that, but once the employees are given extrinsic rewards they will no longer be intrinsically motivated, but rather depend on rewards to keep them motivated thereafter. That is why it is vital to try and motivate employees intrinsically by trying to explain how it will help them to develop and encouraging them by offering more challenging work, giving responsibility and recognition for the work done etc. This will in turn lead to enhance performance by motivating them to meet the long term success.

Through exploration of motivational characteristics, it is shown that people are either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Upon further research, two theories explain how intrinsic motivation can be increased or decreased by extrinsic, or external, motivation techniques. In Theory I, external motivators (incentives, praise, rewards, or punishment) increase intrinsic motivation. In Theory II, extrinsic motivators decrease intrinsic motivation. The latter of this paper will determine what impact extrinsic motivation techniques have on intrinsic motivation. It will then identify the most effective and least effective extrinsic motivation techniques, and explain how intrinsic motivation can be affected by this. Finally, the importance of this exploration will be explained by three research studies.


Intrinsic motivation inspires individuals to participate in an activity because of the internal enjoyment that activity brings. People who are intrinsically motivated have a need for achievement and aspire to be self-determined and competent, without any perceived external motivator (Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, & Little, 2004). Extrinsic motivation encourages individuals, who do not necessarily enjoy an activity, to perform well in order to receive some kind of reward or to avoid negative consequences (Aamodt, 2007). Autonomy, or self-determination, is experienced when an individual feels they have a choice in performing the activity and feels personally responsible for the outcome (Cameron, Pierce, Banko, & Gear, 2005; Aamodt, 2007).

Theory I – External Motivators Increase Intrinsic Motivation There has been a great deal of controversy concerning the impact external motivation techniques have on intrinsic motivation. External motivation techniques have been proven to significantly increase extrinsic motivation, which results in increased efficiency and performance for organizations (Aamodt, 2007). More research is needed to prove that external incentives primarily decrease intrinsic motivation. Proponents of Theory I declare that rewarding individuals for meeting absolute or normative standards, or for exceeding a criterion, greatly increases intrinsic motivation (Cameron, Pierce, Banko, & Gear, 2005). Along with this theory, quality-dependent rewards (verbal praise or tangible rewards) increase intrinsic motivation because they meet an individual’s needs, wants, and desires (Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, & Little, 2004). Although quality-dependent rewards have a positive effect on intrinsic motivation in this theory, achievement-based rewards (rewards that individuals receive for achieving or mastering a challenging criterion) also increases intrinsic motivation.

Achievement-based rewards are broken down into two categories: controlling and informational. The controlling aspect of a reward will be discussed in the next section on how external motivators decrease intrinsic motivation. Basing achievement rewards for informational purposes, such as feedback, boosts an individual’s perception of competence and ability (Cameron, Pierce, Banko, & Gear, 2005). Feedback provides individuals with the results of their efforts thereby increasing intrinsic motivation (Aamodt, 2007). This makes a person feel good about what they have accomplished and inspires them to continue achieving the goal.

Even though reward for achieving goals increases motivation, goal theorists distinguish between two causes for that motivation: present value (engaging in an activity that has present value or enjoyment) and future value (engaging in an activity that will be valued or enjoyed in the future). In other words, being rewarded for achieving a goal increases intrinsic motivation if the individual was performing the activity for its immediate effects. Alternatively, if the individual is motivated to perform the activity with only future benefits in mind, the motivator is external and will not increase intrinsic motivation (Simons, Dewitte, & Lens, 2004).

Theory II – External Motivators Decreases Intrinsic Motivation On one hand, quality-dependent, achievement-based, and goal-based external rewards affirm responsibility for increasing intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, research indicates that these external motivators are detrimental to an individual’s intrinsic motivation. Proponents of Theory II agree that external rewards or incentives substantially increase extrinsic motivation, but unlike Theory I advocates, they do not concur that external rewards increase an individual’s intrinsic motivation. Theory II promoters contend that all extrinsic rewards including informational (verbal rewards), controlling (tangible rewards), and contingent (engagement-based or performance-based) are destructive to intrinsic motivation (Xiang, Chen, & Bruene, 2005).

University of Chicago’s professor of behavioral sciences, Uri Gneezy, made an interesting statement that summarized this viewpoint. He said, “Extrinsic motivation might change the perception of the activity and destroy the intrinsic motivation to perform it when no apparent reward apart from the activity itself is expected” (Rothman & Rothman, 2006). In compliance with Gneezy’s idea that external motivation techniques decrease enjoyment in an activity; task-contingent incentives (rewards to encourage participation in an activity, solving a problem, or completing a task) are also found to decrease self-determination. This decline in autonomy, along with the perception that the motivator is controlling; account for extensive decreases in intrinsic motivation. Use of certain incentives such as money or acknowledgement; are not what some individuals need, want, or desire. When these people receive rewards, it discourages their intrinsic motivation (Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, & Little, 2004).

In addition to the negative effects that task-contingent rewards have on intrinsic motivation, the controlling aspect of achievement-based rewards (awarding those who meet performance standards) results in a similar outcome. External rewards for performing an activity or meeting a standard are viewed as controlling, according to intrinsically motivated people. This external motivation approach is perceived as more of a restraint on self-determination, or independence, than a reward for achieving the goal. Achievement-based rewards can also pressure an individual to perform up to an expected standard. All of these feelings contribute to a decrease in intrinsic motivation (Cameron, Pierce, Banko, & Gear, 2005).


In order to distinguish between the two theories on how external motivation techniques affect intrinsic motivation, a variety of controversial journal articles on the topic were examined. Analyzing a few of these studies will reveal why it is imperative to know and understand how external motivators can negatively or positively influence intrinsic motivation. In a study located in the 2006 American Journal of Transplantation, activists for establishing a market for organs have suggested that financial incentives would encourage more people to donate their organs. Challengers of this concept proposed that financial incentives would result in a decline in organ donors, and that the extrinsic incentives would devalue the moral and unselfish obligations of intrinsically motivated individuals (S.M. Rothman and D.J. Rothman, p. 2). An article written by Nancy Folbre, sited in the 2006 Politics and Society Journal, uncovered the controversial issue of low-paid care givers and social service workers. Folbre found that external incentives would increase intrinsic motivation in care givers and social service workers.

She also affirmed that the levels of intrinsic motivation and moral commitment in care givers and social service workers outweigh the supply of effort that a better wage would bring in. Her thoughts about the pay scale and treatment for care givers and social service workers were summarized by “they are being taken for granted,” and that “strong intrinsic motivation can ‘burn-out’ workers.” Opponents to Folbre’s opinion, such as Anthony Heyes in his article, “Why is a Badly Paid Nurse a Good Nurse?” wrote that a “good” nurse was willing to accept a lower wage. Heyes also challenged that raising nurses’ salaries would result in reduced intrinsic motivation and decreased service quality. According to Folbre’s adversaries, “low pay helps screen out workers who lack the requisite motivation” (Folbre, 7 & 12).

A study found in the 2004 School Psychology Review researched the effects of using extrinsic motivation techniques to maintain appropriate academic output and behavior in schools. Some researchers believed that instructors attempted to “bribe” students with external motivators to encourage them to perform and act a certain way in school. These theorists felt that bribing intrinsically motivated students, who do their best for their own fulfillment, decreased the students’ intrinsic motivation. In contrast, this study revealed that external motivation was not detrimental to students’ intrinsic motivation. In fact, the use of praise and rewards for doing well increased the students’ self-determination and encouraged them to continue to perform well. The only way tangible rewards have decreased intrinsic motivation, according to this article, was when they were not delivered immediately after a student’s behavior (Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, & Little, 346 & 359).


To summarize this research, external motivation techniques have been found to both increase and decrease intrinsic motivation. To keep a healthy balance in an organization, the motivation techniques considered must be carefully selected so that extrinsically motivated individuals, as well as those who are intrinsically motivated, can be satisfied. From these articles, the most effective external motivators include quality-dependent rewards, informational achievement-based rewards, and goal-based rewards. External motivation techniques to avoid include task-contingent incentives and controlling achievement-based rewards.

In conclusion, by examining the above referenced journal articles to find the effects extrinsic motivators have on intrinsic motivation, this research revealed that there are approximately the same number of theorists on both sides of the spectrum. There are just as many researchers who suggest external motivation techniques negatively affect intrinsic motivation as there are who imply external incentives positively affect intrinsic motivation. The debate over whether external motivation techniques either have a positive or a negative effect on intrinsic motivation continues.

Aamodt, M.G. (2007). Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth Corporation.

Akin-Little, A.K.; Eckert, T.L.; Lovett, B.J.; & Little, S.G. (2004). Extrinsic Reinforcement in the Classroom: Bribery or Best Practice. School Psychology Review, 33, 345-348.

Cameron, J.; Pierce, W.D.; Banko, K.M.; & Gear, A. (2005). Achievement-Based Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: A Test of Cognitive Mediators. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 642-643.

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Simons, J.; Dewitte, S.; & Lens, W. (2004). The Role of Different Types of Instrumentality in Motivation, Study Strategies, and Performance: Know Why You Learn, So You’ll Know What You Learn! British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 345-346.

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The Influence of Maslow’s Humanistic Views on an Employee’s Motivation to Learn falseWilson, Ian; Madsen, Susan R. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship13. 2 (Apr 2008): 46-62.Press the Escape key to close

Wilson, I., & Susan, R. M. (2008). The influence of Maslow’s humanistic views on an employee’s motivation to learn. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 13(2), 46-62. Retrieved from

Xiang, P.; Chen, Ang.; & Bruene, A. (2005). Interactive Impact of Intrinsic Motivators and Extrinsic Rewards on Behavior and Motivation Outcomes. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 24, 180.

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