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Blanchard LeaderChat

Carrot and stick motivational schemes may drive short term compliance, but they don’t work very well when it comes to increasing long term performance, retention, effort, endorsement, or even intentions to be a good organizational citizen. That’s what researchers at The Ken Blanchard Companies found when they looked at the impact different motivational outlooks have on employee intentions.

The 950-person study looked at the correlations between three different motivational outlooks—Disinterested, Suboptimal, and Optimal—and five subsequent intentions to act in a positive manner—apply discretionary effort, perform at a high level, endorse the organization, remain with the organization, and be a good organizational citizen.

Correlations Between Motivational Outlooks and Work Intentions

As expected, people who identified their motivational outlook as Disinterested showed no measurable correlation to exhibit the five desirable behaviors. However, the research showed that people with a carrot and stick (gain reward or avoid punishment) motivational outlook, labeled Suboptimal by the researchers, also…

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