Money as a criterion for job choice

We have already covered this topic in week 4 and discussed the basic meaning of money and the idea that money can have much more meaning than money itself. The basic property of money is that it is an essential factor when people make decisions ranging from job choice to how much to work, and thus it enables them to maintain basic living and determines their quality of life. According to the article “When does money make money more important?” by Devoe, Pfeffer, and Lee, money shows how valuable they are in the workplace, and for this reason people place much more value on the money from their labor more than the money earned by chance. Therefore, I will first discuss the importance of money itself for satisfaction and proceed to the symbolic value of money to determine that money should be considered as an essential criterion for job choice to achieve intrinsic satisfaction in the end.


For most of us, making money is the primary reason for working. It enables us to maintain our living and enhance quality of life. Therefore, money immensely influences satisfaction in the workplace. Then one might assume that the more money you earn, the bigger the satisfaction. However, since there are limits to biological needs, this concept faces the idea of diminishing marginal utility of income, where the incremental change in utility from money decreases as the income increases. It means that as you get more money from the workplace, the increment of satisfaction from money itself is not as big as you have when you get lower income. Though it is true that money brings you satisfaction, satisfaction from money is variable. Thus money should not be the main criterion for choosing a job.


In addition to economical value, money also has symbolic value. In capitalist society, the easiest way to represent the value is using the price. For this reason, people easily believe that the amount of money shows how valuable a product or service is. Likewise, people recognize the competence of workers by the amount of income they get paid. Accordingly, money implies much more value than its economic value alone. Now money is not only the means to afford basic living cost, but also another way to express individuals’ capacity, by extension, their reputation. Usually, people who have achieved high level of living tend to pursue social recognition. Therefore, when income increase, not only lower income earners, but also higher income earners get higher increment of satisfaction than the satisfaction they get when we assume that money has only economical value.


However, still money cannot be the essential factor in regards to satisfaction in the workplace. Self-contentment which comes from achievement is not only described by how much they get paid. It can be substituted by promotion or recognition from people, for instance. Also, money and social recognition which higher income earners ultimately want are not necessary and sufficient conditions. There are a lot of figures admired by people, though they don’t get paid well. On the other hand, there are also people who get blamed, even though they are rich. Therefore, money should not be the main factor when we pursue the genuine satisfaction.


Of course, considering the fact that money gives people a satisfaction regardless how much money they earn, money is an important factor for satisfaction. However, it cannot be the main factor when to choose a job. To achieve the long lasting satisfaction, we need to find another factor not influenced by any conditions. Here is one story we can refer when we choose a job after graduation. It would be better to invest lots of time in prioritizing values to determine your job by analyzing and knowing yourself. Here is one meaningful video you can get help from.


The level of motivation

We covered a topic about money and motivation in class. Still, the relationship between money and motivation is quite tricky issue. Obviously, many people react sensitively to how much money they receive from their work and it leads to the conclusion that money is the most powerful motivation to workers. However, is it applicable to every individual? Furthermore, does money moreover the compensation lead to durable motivation? Regarding to this topic, I want to introduce one interesting experiment.

This experiment is called Soma puzzle experiment. In this experiment, two groups were engaged in working on a Soma cube puzzle. There were three sessions for completing each puzzle within time. While there was $1 reward for achieving one configuration to one group for one session, to the other group nothing was given. The result was unexpected. The group without compensation showed higher interest and creativity during whole session, whereas the other group with reward has less achievement after reward has removed though during the session with money they worked hard on puzzle. This experiment prove that if an individual is intrinsically motivated to perform an activity, introduction of as extrinsic reward decreases the degree of intrinsic motivation to perform the task.

Through this experiment, we can notice that there are different kinds of motivation. Actually, this experiment is based on Self determination theory. This theory is about human motivation behind the choices that people make without any external influence and interference. According to this theory, there are two kind of motivation. One is Intrinsic Motivation and the other is Extrinsic Motivation. Former is motivation which refers to initiating an activity for its own sake because the activity is interesting and satisfying, later is motivation which results from external factor, and as we can expect, former one is higher level of motivation which is much stronger and more durable than the other one. Furthermore, as we can see in experiment, extrinsic compensation has a inverse relationship with intrinsic motivation.

Then, we can arrive to this conclusion that as a student majoring in Business, what we should focus on is not what manager should reward to workers so that they can be motivated but how motivate workers internally not by giving compensation. This theory also suggests how to make workers reach to higher level of motivation. There are three ways. First one is autonomy. If workers can behave on their own and feel they can decide on their own will, their motivation gets higher. Second one is Relatedness. If workers have sound relationship in workplace, and it allows them to express their own idea freely, it makes them to concentrate on their work. Last one is competence. If workers feel they are learning and achieving something in workplace, their engagement in work gets higher.

Now, we know what managers should focus on to derive higher level of motivation from employees. Carrot and Stick approach is too superficial method to make them dedicate to their work. It might have side effect lowering intrinsic motivation. Also otherwise, employees also should know that intrinsic motivation results higher value to themselves and to the work as well. Soon or later, we will be an employee and someday might be employer. I am pretty sure that it would be crucial to keep this theory in mind when you determine your job or are in the leader position.