In no society examined under controlled conditions have the majority of people consistently behaved selfishly. That’s perhaps why using controls or carrots and sticks to motivate people isn’t effective. We need systems that rely on engagement, communication, and a sense of common purpose and identity. Most organizations would be better off helping us to engage and embrace our collaborative, generous sentiments than assuming that we are driven purely by self-interest. In fact, systems based on self-interest, such as material rewards and punishment, often lead to less productivity than an approach oriented toward our social motivations.
Yochai Benkler writing in the Harvard Business Review