Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Impact of Pointlessness

I always find it interesting when I find actual research to back up a business theory that may seem commonsense, but hard to quantify. The "theory" in this case is that when people are working towards unknown or ultimately un-enjoyed goals their work output is going to suffer. This is obviously an issue in a general business context, but will take an even more prominent role as Government continues to tax the productive class in ever increasing amounts.

The short summation of this experiment is to take two groups of people and pay them to assemble Lego robots. One group will see the fruit of the labor build up as a pile of assembled robots, the second group will have the robot they've constructed torn apart and presented back to them to re-assemble over and over again. Same task, same general monetary reward, but a very different sense of mission and accomplishment.


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