On the Wisdom of Rewarding A While Hoping for B

  title={On the Wisdom of Rewarding A While Hoping for B},
  author={Richard Boettger and Charles R. Greer},
  journal={Organization Science},
We explain the deeper organizational wisdom behind what Steven Kerr called the "folly" of seemingly inconsistent reward structures. Modern organizations-even those Kerr specifically criticizes as "fouled-up"-frequently need to serve two contradictory goals at the same time. Three conditions in particular require sophisticated organizations to reward A while nonetheless hoping for B. First, operative goals-e.g., for a police department-may require practical activities like "social work" that… 
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