2 Comments

  1. While I can’t dispute the thorough research that leaderboards don’t lead to “healthy” competition in all people, I am not sure that ” leaderboards are “unhealthy” for anyone with a cooperation-driven personality”. I position that the goal of the leaderboard is what matters, and if the goal is to highlight cooperation as the leaderboard purpose, whether that would incent more cooperation among the target audience and support “cooperation-driven” people in a positive manner. Thoughts?

  2. This is fascinating research, and a very helpful line of exploration, since so much of the training design for content areas such as sales and leadership relies on types of team or individual motivation. The strategy used by many leading-edge practitioners seems to reflect the issues raised here: an approach that incorporates elements of both team and individual motivation. Perhaps more importantly, many of the more successful programs I’ve seen or been involved with help individuals identify both their own motivation styles and those of the program design. Armed with this awareness, they can identify what is
    contemplated or implemented in the workplace and can raise concerns or make adaptations.

    Some of my own research may have gotten at an aspect of these findings from a different direction. I looked at the extent to which people are initially resistant or enthusiastic about different forms of performance improvement, based on their perceptions of the value of those formats – either from their own experience or from the input of others. My findings suggested (for example) an increased motivation by younger generation of workers for online and other mostly individual learning approaches, compared to older generations, who perceived higher value in the more traditional group and classroom settings. I didn’t investigate leaderboards (the study focused more broadly on overall types of interventions: class, self-study, financial and non-financial incentives, etc.), nor did I see a statistically significant difference by gender (probably because of my relatively small sample size), but I think my results would not be inconsistent with the Maddox and Markmam study.


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