Individual Pay for Performance, Controlling Effects, and Intrinsic Motivation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionMotivation and Emotion. 2020, 44, 525-533. 10.1007/s11031-020-09828-4
A core question in research on compensation and motivation is whether individual variable pay for performance (IVPFP) can undermine intrinsic motivation in the workplace. We investigated the mediating role of a controlling effect on the relationship between the amount of IVPFP received and intrinsic motivation. In a three-wave study of 304 employees from eight European countries, we found that a controlling effect mediated the negative association between IVPFP and intrinsic motivation. These findings support the proposition from self-determination theory that financial rewards can have a controlling effect that decreases intrinsic motivation. Theoretical and practical implications for compensation and motivation in the workplace are discussed.