Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to Squeeze Workers for More

Here is a bit from a post on the Stumbling and Mumbling blog that spots an odd discrepancy:
Oliver Letwin has been doing some blue sky thinking.The Guardian reports him as saying that it is
only through "some real discipline and some fear" of job losses that excellence would be achieved in the public sector.
I'm not sure Letwin really believes this. If he did, he would be also advocating introducing fear into corporate boardrooms, because there is at least some evidence that fines work better than bonuses in stimulating good performance. Funnily enough, though, he seems silent on this. He seems to subscribe to the asymmetric theory of motivation: bosses are motivated by big money, but workers are motivated by fear.
Personally I think the current situation should be reversed. Workers should be stimulated by money and bosses should be encouraged to stellar performance by fear, more fear, and yet more fear. Bring back the rack!

I would love to see the Wall Street titans have to give up their billion dollar bonuses and instead find themselves on the rack with a guy in a black hood asking "Why didn't you meet your performance goal of delivering a 20% increase in profits above last year's level?" I think we might hear squeals of enthusiasm about meeting new and higher performance goals from the top executives!

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