Extrinsic Rewards, Intrinsic Motivation, and New Product Development Performance
Stacey L. Malek, Shikhar Sarin and Christophe Haon
Originally published: October 26, 2020 (PDMA JPIM • Vol 37 • Issue 6 • November 2020)
Read time: 55 minutes
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Reward structures can have a significant impact on the performance of new product development (NPD) teams. However, there are several gaps in our understanding of how different types of extrinsic rewards influence the creative performance of NPD teams. Drawing on key theoretical objectives for advancing rewards‐creativity research in general, and NPD research in particular, this study incorporates a cognitive and behavioral view of rewards use. In so doing, we distinguish between three kinds of extrinsic rewards: financial, recognition, and social (based on their properties). We then draw upon self‐determination theory to hypothesize the differential effects of three types of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic task motivation, and subsequently the creative performance of NPD teams. The proposed framework is tested using two rounds of survey data from 238 members of 64 NPD teams in the high‐tech industry. Results of a multilevel structural equation modeling (MLSEM) analysis show that financial rewards have a negative relationship with intrinsic task motivation, while recognition and social rewards have a positive influence. Complexity of the product being developed not only helps to mitigate the negative effects of financial rewards on intrinsic task motivation, but it also reduces the positive effects of social rewards on intrinsic task motivation. Intrinsic task motivation is found to have a positive effect on NPD creative performance in terms of both the developed product’s degree of innovation and its quality. Theoretical and managerial implications are explored.