American engineers first attempted to demarcate the ‘incentivizable subject’ as an object of knowledge and to design the techniques of power with which that subject could be governed. For them, the incentivization of employees was synonymous with the introduction of piece wages. From the 1920s onward, the authority of the engineers was challenged by management scientists who developed different explanations for employee behavior and developed a set of alternative techniques to increase productivity. The link forged between incentives and information by postwar economists makes for the third rationalization of government with the help of incentives. What is taken for granted in the use of the carrot and the stick as twin elements in these three successive programs for wielding power over people? PDF for free.

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