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본 연구는 금전적 보상 위주의 인센티브 시스템을 보완할 수 있는 비금전적 보상을 사용한 인센티브 시스템의 가능성을 타진해 보고자 하였다. 구체적으로, 현대 소비자들이 물질적 소비 외에도 개념적 소비를 통해 큰 만족감을경험하고 동기화 된다는 점에 착안하여, 대표적인 개념적 소비 활동 중 하나인 자선 단체에의 기부 기회 제공을 통해서 표적 과제 수행을 동기화할 수 있는지 살펴보았다. 이를 위해, 피험자에게 특정 과제를 부여하고 조건 별로 상이한 인센티브 시스템에 노출한 후, 과제 수행 수준을 비교하였다. 분석 결과, 자선 단체에의 기부라는 비금전적 인센티브에 노출된 피험자들의 과제 수행이 개인적인 보상이라는 금전적 인센티브에 노출된 피험자들의 과제 수행보다 월등함을 확인할 수 있었다. 더욱이 금전적 인센티브에 노출된 피험자들에 비해 비금전적 인센티브에 노출된 피험자들이 과제 수행 이후 자신의 경험이 더욱 의미 있었다고 평가했으며, 차후에 훨씬 적은 금액의 보상을 받고도기꺼이 동일한 과제를 수행할 의향이 있음을 보고하였다. 이는 소비자 자신에게 물질적 이득이 돌아가지 않는 개념적 소비 기회의 부여를 통해서도 소비자들을 성공적으로 동기화하고 소비자 만족을 이끌어낼 수 있음을 보여주는결과라고 할 수 있다. 본 연구는 소비자 동기화에 대한 이해를 넓혔다는 학문적 의의를 가짐과 동시에 구체적으로새로운 인센티브 시스템의 가능성을 제시함으로써 마케팅 실무자들에게도 많은 시사점을 제공하고 있다.


Many marketers take interests in motivating potential consumers to initiate or to continue engaging in the desired consumption behavior. One of the most prevalent tools marketers use to achieve this goal is to provide consumers with tangible financial rewards. For instance,department stores reward their customers with gift certificate in return for the money they spent shopping in the stores: credit card companies reward their customers with points which could be later redeemed and used as cash. Naturally, there has been lots of research exploring ways to design an incentive program that can better motivate consumers. A notable commonality among this line of research is that they focus almost exclusively on the use of tangible financial rewards. The effectiveness of tangible financial rewards, however, has been seriously questioned. Studies showed that financial rewards very often have minimal influence on performance and sometimes even decrease the level of performance by destroying intrinsic motivation. This called forth the need to design an incentive program that utilizes incentives other than financial rewards. Recent studies in consumer behavior emphasize the extent to which modern consumers engage in so-called conceptual consumption(Ariely and Norton 2009). As technology has paved the way for meeting basic needs, consumers have developed psychological avenues for occupying their consumption energies, moving from consuming the tangibles to consuming concepts. Indeed,it is not difficult to find instances where consumers forgo positive physical consumption in order to engage in conceptual consumption. For example, people often choose to donate money that could have been used for one's own sake to charitable organizations, consuming the idea that one is an altruistic person who contributes to the social welfare. Moreover, studies found that this kind of charitable giving offers greater happiness and psychological satisfaction than mere physical consumption. Thus, it may be the case that one can better motivate consumers by providing them not with financial rewards but with an opportunity to engage in conceptual consumption. The present study examined the very possibility: I hypothesized that an opportunity to make a charitable giving will motivate participants to engage in the target behavior more so than an opportunity to receive a financial rewards for oneself. The hypothesis was tested with a laboratory study. Ninety-nine individuals from a university community participated in exchange for a 3000 won show-up payment. Participants were given a task (i.e. immersing one's hands as long as one can in a tub filled with cold water) and were asked to do their best at it. Depending on the condition they were randomly assigned to, participants were 1) not provided with any incentive (Control 1 Condition), 2)provided with financial incentive where they earned extra money for themselves proportional to the amount of time they endured with their hands immersed in the cold water (Money to Self Condition), 3) provided with non-financial incentive where they earned extra money for a charity proportional to the amount of time they endured with their hands immersed in the cold water (Money to Charity Condition), or 4) not provided with any incentive but offered a way of distraction by playing a video clip to watch (Control 2 Condition). When they were done with the task, participants filled out a questionnaire about the experience. The results supported the hypothesis: whereas the Money to Self treatment only marginally improved participants' performance on the task the Money to Charity treatment greatly improved participants' performance. Participants in the Money to Charity condition, compared to those in the other conditions, reported that they found their experience more meaningful. Presumably, this perception of meaning in the Money to Charity condition drove participants to expand more effort in performing the task. Moreover, participants in the Money to Charity condition reported that they would be willing to engage in the same task even with much smaller rewards to themselves. This indicated that participants in the Money to Charity condition was more motivated not only for the current task at hand but also for the similar task in the future. Taken together, the present findings confirmed the potential of using an opportunity for charitable giving in motivating consumers. Because the study involved real money and real behavior, it provides not only theoretical insights for researchers but also practical implications for marketers.