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Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes

We all know what works, don’t we? Pay someone more, incentivize them, and people will get more done! It is a maxim in business. But what if it doesn’t work? What if rewards actually caused someone to perform at a lower level, to perform worse?

Punished by Rewards challenges the value and effectiveness of the traditional carrot and stick reward system. It does so with stunning clarity and seemingly indisputable research. WARNING: Read this book ONLY if you want your bedrock beliefs to be rocked. You will never view compensation quite the same again.


Alfie Kohn


Houghton Miffin



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