By Michael Mooney
Intrinsic rewards are the experiences of satisfaction after the internal drive toward specific goals. In other words, they are rewards (such as personal development, or achievement) linked
to performing job functions (Mahaney & Lederer, 2006).
Michael Maccoby (2010) is the author of The Four Rs of Motivation. In this brief article he reviews the results of several findings of studies regarding the nature of intrinsic rewards. However more
specifically, he reviews some of his previous research on human motivation, and makes comparisons between personal experiences and research findings.
Maccoby (2010) offers an equation for motivation in the form of four intrinsic “Rs”: 1) responsibilities; 2) relationships; 3) rewards; and 4) reasons. This formula finds validation in the test results
of 150,000 people spanning over 100 countries.
Responsibilities-Relationships. From the responsibilities element, it seems that people favorably enjoy intrinsic motivation by engaging challenges of their personal values. When responsibilities
are in line with their core values, role satisfaction and appreciation reaches levels as high as 80%. The studies also show good relations with leadership to be the number one factor that defines a
“good job”. Leadership further maximizes intrinsic motivation when good relations are combined with assigned tasks that complement member values.
Rewards-Reasons. Interestingly, even in matters of rewards Maccoby’s (2010) report shows that extrinsic rewards are generally secondary to intrinsic ones. While compensation is indeed relevant to
human motivation, the research demonstrates that approximately 85% of respondents will be satisfied with less pay in circumstances where they receive intrinsic rewards of recognition for their efforts.
This links to the last of the Rs which is reasons. Maccoby (2010) claims this to likely the most powerful of them all. The author reports the reasons of purpose, philanthropy, and pride in sincere
efforts are powerful intrinsic forces that motivate people to exhaust their greatest efforts.
God places the intrinsic propensity toward eternity in the hearts of humanity (Ecc 3:11). This explains why “Spiritual Transcendence is a significant, universal, motivational quality that exists in all
cultures” (Piedmont, 2007, p. 102). There are great applications for these insights within corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations. Spirituality is becoming an increasing subject of
modern business ethics as well as academia. Ironically, Kolodinsky, Giacalone, and Jurkiewicz (2008 ) find positive relationships with organizational spirituality in work environments. Often
the results are increased organizational commitment and overall satisfaction –including compensation. Apparently, even non-spiritual employees also preference work environments structured by spiritual
Satisfaction in Purposes
As the previous authors, Byrd, Hageman, and Isle (2007) link deeply held spiritual values to attitudes, which inevitably shape behaviors –the moments when intrinsic and extrinsic factors become observable reality.