Speed Read – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Daniel H. Pink, Canongate Books (2011) (view on Amazon)
Is there more to motivation than using the carrot and the stick? Daniel Pink argues that in the 21st century the traditional workplace is not structured to get the best performance from its employees. Instead, businesses need to foster workers' autonomy, mastery and purpose, which in turn should lead to higher productivity, lower staff turnover and better-served customers.
Summary of method and argument
According to conventional wisdom, human motivation has two sources: inherent biological needs such as hunger, thirst or sexual gratification, and external rewards or punishment for certain behaviours. But Pink argues for the existence of a third source that is at least as strong as the other two: intrinsic motivation, where enjoyment comes from performing the task itself. This hypothesis is backed up by multiple experiments that have shown that introducing a reward can actually impair performance.