Control and Incentives

Regarding the perspective an individual may have regarding control, it is difficult to get away from the principle that reveals control is a necessary part of an organization’s success. There must be some sort of design, some sort of system that insures the different moving parts and resources are properly managed and utilized for the highest level of successful use.

Control systems are designed and implemented to monitor and measure the performance of subunits and their people, providing feedback to supervisors at various levels of the organization about the level of compliance subunits are able to achieve (Burton et al., 2011). The implementation of control systems constitute infrastructure of an organization and provide underlying pathways for information sharing (Burton at al., 2011).

In order for control systems to be successful, they need to have an effective system of incentives developed around them. Incentives are means or instruments designed to encourage certain actions or behaviors from employees, or groups of employees, to guarantee satisfactory levels of performance to insure successful advancement of an organization (Burton et al., 2011). Incentives create motivation for employees to operate under the necessary standards of the control systems, but incentives go beyond receiving a paycheck. People also respond to praise, acceptance, belongingness, and recognition of self-worth that is encouraging, which can all be considered part of a an effective incentive system (Burton et al., 2011). In order for incentives to be effective, they must be internalized and accepted by people, they must consider the incentives as fair, and they must be motivated to do well in the end (Burton et al., 2011).

Control and incentives go hand in hand…incentives control either control the behavior of employees or the results of what employees do.

How can leaders navigate the natural recoil to control people have through incentive implementation?


Burton, R. M., Obel, B., & DeSanctis, G. (2011). Organizational design: a step-by-step approach (2nd ed). Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

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