Business Finance
Concord University Managerial Dan Ariely Work Decision Making Reflection Paper

Concord University

Question Description

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Paper #3

Write a reflection paper on the experiments from Dan Ariely’s work. How could use some of the findings of Ariely’s experiments in your own life and work? Be specific. (4-5 pages)

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Final Answer


When one thinks about motivation, what come into mind are money and other intrinsic
motivators. In other words, some people think that employees are only motivated because of
money. Nonetheless, money is what gets employees into the door of an organization but it do not
make them to go an extra mile. There are other key elements of work that are critical in
motivating an employee to go an extra mile in his or her work within an organization. To better
understand what drives employees to work, Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics and
psychology at the Duke University, designed a series of experiments focused on unlocking the
roots of intrinsic motivation. Ariely condensed his key findings in his book Payoff: The Hidden
Logic That Shapes our Motivations”, and discussed them in an interview with Quartz.
In one of his experiments, Ariely asked subjects to build Lego toys called Bionicles and paid
then $2 for the first toy they built and then less money for the subsequent toys they built. In one
group, upon receiving the completed Bionicles, his researchers would set them aside and in other
group, upon receiving the Bionicles the researchers destroyed them as soon as they received
them. In the first group, the subjects made 11 Bionicles on average before giving up, the second
group walked away after making only 7 Bionicles. Other similar experiments conducted by
Ariely reinforced the same message. The essence of these experiments are that people want to
feel like they are contributing to the organization, they want to have a sense of purpose, and a
sense that the work creates some impact. That’s the true nature of being an employee within an
organization. All employees would like their work and contribution to the organization to have
some impact. Moreover, employees also would like to have some sense of recognition and
without this; they may feel less important to an organization.

The experiments conducted by Ariel are highly relevant within any given work setting and
provide a foundation for organizations to realize that their employees would like to feel
recognized and valued within the organization. An employee can only contribute immensely to
an organization when he or she feels that he is part of the organization and that his or her efforts
in the organization are felt and recognized. From the first experiment, Ariely’s main objective
was to demonstrate to the employers to the need to show their employees how the products and
services that they produce within the organization have a significant impact within the market. In
other words, employers must emphasize the joy, the sweetness, and even the strengths and
impacts that a given product produced by their employees impact the lives of the people within
the market.
As an individual, I find the results and learnings from Ariely’s experiment very insightful for
both my work and my life. First, it highlights the need to make a significant impact as an
individual employee. In any given work that one does with...

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