Article Review: “Financial Incentives, Professional Values and Performance: a Study of Pay-for-Performance in a Professional Organization” – Gary J Young, Howard Beckman and Errol Baker

In: Business and Management

Submitted By NLV777
Words 2030
Pages 9
Introduction
Young, Beckman and Baker conducted a study on the influence of financial incentives in a pay for performance based research experiment of professional physicians. Their study aimed to provide further evidence on the effect of the agency theory in incentivizing the agent by providing financial rewards particularly in professional organizational settings. There is much debate in the field about the real benefits of financial incentives on human behavior management in the workplace. The subject remains controversial and many studies have provided equivocal results. Their study exposes that physicians in the test group responded differently to the financial incentives offered based particularly on their belief in the importance of the goals or on their feeling of having their autonomy undermined (Young, et al., 2012). However the results are not conclusive and hinge largely on the underlying motivation and attitudes of the professional test subjects themselves and how they perceived the incentive scheme. This research is a loose experiment in a narrow field of professional organisation, however the results of this study do provide some insight into the motivation behind and acceptance of pay for performance schemes by those in a professional field with a certain level of autonomy. Limitations need to be observed in interpreting the overall conclusion of the findings.
Theoretical Perspectives
The authors focus a great portion of the article to the discussion of the theoretical perspectives in the field. They focus primarily on Agency theory which as they state is “the leading perspective that scholars offer in support of financial incentives” (Young, et al., 2012). With the general argument being that while financial incentives are controversial they are also a commonly used business practice to attempt to improve employee performance (Gerhart & Trevor,…...

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