Junior Management Science, Volume 7, Issue 4, September 2022, 1133-1146

The role of self-enhancement when using status incentives in sales

Niclas Vogt, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Bachelor Thesis)

The aim of this study is to apply the social psychological theory of self-enhancement to the widespread use of status incentives in the corporate world. More specifically, the potential effect of self-enhancement triggered by the awarding of status incentives is examined based on a fictitious sales team. Special focus is placed on the resulting motivational effect. The research showed that status changes through status incentives (status manipulation) have a very strong effect on employees’ motivational performance, because self-enhancement is influenced. The primary finding was that these status changes of individuals within a team may have ambivalent effects on overall motivational performance, partly because in team dynamics an increase in status of individual members is accompanied by the relative decrease in status of the other members. Among other effects, this changes the structure of social comparisons (self-enhancement theory) within the sales team, which possess strong motivational effects.

Keywords: self-enhancement; status incentives; sales; motivation.