Pay and motivation in car salesmen
This is essentially a field experimental, psychological study of the response of a group of car salesmen to a change in their incentive payment scheme. It is suggested that the ethos of the Human Relations movement has inhibited research for a number of years and that the concepts of this movement investigated by Whitehead (1938), Roethlisberger & Dickson ,(1964), Maslow (1943), Herzberg (1968) and Deci (1971) and propounded by McGregor (1961), Argyris (1962) and 'Mayo (1975) are not supported by the evidence while research does establish that pay can, and does, enhance performance in the work place. This hypothesis is investigated in a group of car salesmen - firstly by establishing a personality profile suitable to the characteristics of the job (which are described) and then by changing the payment system of a small group of salesmen, so that they are able, and can expect to, optimise their income for a period of six months by selling more vehicles and by increasing the amount of the profit in each unit sold. At the end of the experimental period it was found that the number of units sold by the experimental group was significantly higher than performance in a previous period and greater than the control groups. However, the profit per unit appears to have decreased. It is also found that high self-esteem and an internal locus of control are related to sales performance. While it is not possible to ascribe causality for any changes to the experimental manipulation with any degree of certainty, there are indications that the opportunity to optimise income did influence the salesmens performance.