The Influence of Congruence between Incentive System and Locus of Control on Team Performance: An Experiment
Organizations are increasingly relying upon teamwork; however, little is known about the best fit among incentive system, team composition, and group performance. To further explore this issue this study examines whether the congruence between incentive system and locus of control (LoC) affects team performance. To reconcile opposite lines of argument in literature regarding the best incentive system for a team, this paper uses the social identity perspective and person-environment (P-E) fit theory to understand behavior in a group process. A laboratory experiment with postgraduate students is conducted to test the hypotheses. One hundred and five accounting students were assigned to three-person work groups, where they completed an independent task under one of two types of incentive—individual and group incentive systems—after their LoC was measured. The findings confirm the hypothesis. Group incentive results in an enhanced team performance. Team performance is better when there is congruence between incentive system and LoC. Group incentive system combined with external LoC results in the best performance, while individual incentive system results in a better team performance when combined with internal LoC. The result suggests that a cooperative process enables ‘ordinary people’ to obtain extraordinary results.