Why do we repeatedly get ourselves in such a tizz about an issue that W Edwards Deming so effectively dispatched in his "system of profound knowledge" more than 50 years ago (News page 8, Editorial, December 3)?
Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg further demonstrated that, yes, people are interested in money but that is not what motivates them - it does not bring "joy on the job".
Deming showed there are forces that prevent people from being intrinsically motivated, having self-esteem etc - incentive pay is one. He further showed that it is impossible to separate the contribution of an individual to the process's output from the contribution of the system.
The key is to make the work the motivator and try to keep the pay from being a demotivator. We really are not very good at learning, are we?
Frank Newhofer, Oxford.