• “We need to think deeply about what economic development is and who it is for; and, engage the larger society in that conversation.”

    Dr. David T. Barnard
    President and Vice-Chancellor
    University of Manitoba

  • “Rising income inequality undercuts the trust that is essential for the market system to work.”

    Art DeFehr
    President and CEO, Palliser Furniture.

  • “Investing in people in the new economy is now not just morally sound, but economically rational”

    Alan Freeman
    Cultural Economist

  • “Organizations and societies in which the top few appropriate most of the value are like inverted pyramids – inherently unstable”

    Dr. Hari Bapuji
    Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

  • “The present crisis has overturned many accepted truths: that poverty matters but inequality doesn't is one of the more important.”

    Radhika Desai
    Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba

  • “The income gap between rich and poor, between skilled and unskilled workers, has been rising in both developed and less developed countries for a number of years. The trend is disturbing and we must find a way to turn this trend around.”

    Michael Benarroch
    Dean, I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Giving and Getting

By BEIF Team

Dr. Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania has recently released a book entitled, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. The book introduces Grant’s academic research to a lay audience and demonstrates how prosocial giving actually benefits the giver. The New York Times Magazine has recently profiled Grant, who practices what he preaches, as he often holds four-hour long sessions of office hours in which he provides advice and counsel to students.

Grant, who specializes in the field of organizational psychology, has been interested in the motivation for a long time. The article recounts how Grant became a top sales leader upon realizing that his work as an ad salesperson benefits his college friends as it gives them jobs. This intuitive understanding of how motivation and performance are linked, led Grant to develop his first study as a master’s student at the University of Michigan and helped “[revive] the field of job design”.

A popular argument in favour of economic inequality states that it motivates people to work harder and earn more money. Yet, Grant’s research shows that motivation does not only stem from financial rewards but also from helping other people. Of course, there are limitations to this research as Dr. Jerry Davis, a management professor at the University of Michigan (and a friend of BEIF), recently asked Grant “[s]o you think those workers at the Apple factory in China would stop committing suicide if only we showed them someone who was incredibly happy with their iPhone?”