We know that rewarding a certain behavior will encourage more of that behavior. We learned that as a child, and as adults, we practice rewards theory every day on the job and at home. Few of us stop and think in-depth about the dynamic going on beneath the surface.
In 1993, Alfe Kohn wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review that spelled out some startling observations about rewards in the workplace. A few years ago I wrote a white paper updating his observations and providing my personal views on his conclusions. It makes good reading for anyone who is in a leadership position because it reveals some little known concepts about reward theory. http://www.leadergrow.com/PunishedbyRewards.pdf