J. Service Science & Management, 2010, 3: 130-137
doi:10.4236/jssm.2010.31016 Published Online March 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jssm)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for
Zero-Time Enterprise
Yang Hu1,2, Xinrong Yang1
1School of Economics and Management, Hunan Institute of Science and Technology, Yueyang, China; 2School of Economics and
Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.
Email: drhuyang@sina.com
Received December 19th, 2009; revised January 12th, 2010; accepted February 11th, 2010.
The zero-time enterprise’s mission is response to the market and customer needs in “zero tim e” in order to gain more
customers and competitive advantages. To realize zero-time response to market and customers, it should inspire the
employees’ work enthusiasm and creativity, so that they can do their work conscientiously to ensure quick and smooth
going. This paper discussed how to establish an effective instant incentive mechanism for zero-time enterprise, which is
a problem of rich practical significan ce. Firstly, based on the briefly explanation of zero-time enterprise, it analyzed the
characteristics and princip les of zero-time enterprise; and then elaborated the important ro les of instant incentive. Fi-
nally, it proposed the basic contents of instant incentive and the “Trine” realization mechanism.
Keywords: Zero-Time Enterprise, Instant, Incentive
1. Introduction
Enterprise competitions and changes in business envi-
ronment prompting the mode of competition to transfer
from price-based competition to quality and variety-
based competition, and now to the time-based competi-
tion (Time-based competition, TBC). TBC doesn’t mean
to take no account of price, quality and variety, but under
the premise of meeting all these factors, it is to immedi-
ately respond to customer needs [1]. Meanwhile, due to
customer needs have become personalized and diversi-
fied. These factors have posed a challenge to the modern
enterprises’ operations. They have to strive for customers
in order to survive and develop in current rapidly chang-
ing time characterized as TBC, the instant response to
customer needs of personalized and diversification has
become an irrefutable fact. According to the actual re-
quirement that instant response to customer needs, the
concept of zero-time [2] has been proposed, and the study
of zero-time enterprises begins to be concerned by
Modern enterprise management is attributed to the
management of human resources. It hopes that through
the effective deployment of personnel to get immediate
response to customer needs, so that realizing the strategic
development. Human resources are strategic resources of
modern enterprises, but also the most critical factor in the
enterprise survival and development, and incentive is an
important part of human resources. The most fundamen-
tal purpose of incentive mechanism proposed by enter-
prises is to correctly direct the employees’ work motiva-
tion, enabling them achieve business goals while achiev-
ing their own needs, increasing their satisfaction, so that
their enthusiasm and creativity could be maintained and
carried forward. This is one of the necessary conditions
that immediate response to customer needs of individual
and various. In fact, nowada ys in enterprises, quite a few
of staff would have been able to achieve even greater
success, but they did not. This is not due to they lack of
skills, but a lack of motivation and passion to work, it is
the enterprises lack o f imme diate and effective incentives
for them. Therefore, how to establish an effective incen-
tive mechanism is a very important problem for each
enterprise facing and urgent needing to solve. This paper
is for zero-time enterprise, to explore the important issue
how to establish an effective instant incentive mechanism.
2. The Connotation of Zero-Time Enterprise
and Characteristics of Incentives
2.1 The Connotation of Zero-Time Enterprise
The concept of zero-time, firstly proposed by Raymond
T. Yeh and Keri Pearlson in 1998, in their paper, “Zero
time: A Conceptual Architecture for 21st Century Enter-
prises”. In 2000, Raymond T. Yeh, Keri Pearlson and
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
George Kozmetsky co-authored of “Zero Time: Provid-
ing Instant Customer Value—Every time, All the Time!”
[2] in detail discussing the zero-time philosophy and 5
rules. In China, Bo sheng Zhou and Dongping Fan (2000 )
[3] gave an explanation of introduction for the zero-time
concept. Briefly, zero-time is a philosophy or a concept,
refers to the shortest time applied to respond to customer
needs. It is similar to zero-defect for quality control and
zero-inventory for production management. The proposal
of zero-time is an important contribution to the theory of
TBC, it extremely promote the concept of enterprise com-
petition, and gives the most brilliant general of t he concept.
The 21st century is a rapid changing era characterized
as explosive expansion of information, the changes of
competitive environment and affecting competition fac-
tors have made the birth of zero-time enterprise to be a
necessity. So called zero-time enterprise, in short, refers
to the enterprise operated in accordance with zero-time
concept and rules, “within the organization, every busi-
ness process based on response to customer needs,
should be implemented immediately, if needed with
automatic learning. Managers and employees possess the
knowledge and capabilities to make police (decisions)
and vendors can provide the required parts and services
immediately”, its essential characteristic is to instantly
respond to customer’s personalized requirements [4]. The
ultimate goal for zero -time enterprise is not only “enab le
customer to trust, do as product leader, make operation
excellent”, also far from being market share, but rather to
“permanently occupy the market”, that is to say, by pro-
viding instant personalized products and services in the
existing untapped market to occupy a dominant position,
and through the constant release of innovative products
to gain market dominance, which is performed as spiral
process of innovation, new products, new services and
market, is similar to the waves in the sea, constantly al-
ternating emerge, and never cease. Traditional enterprise
must overcome some deficiencies firstly to become
zero-time enterprise. The reference [3] point that there
are 5 kinds of gaps in operations between the traditional
enterprise and zero-time enterprise, namely: zero value
gaps, zero learning gaps, zero management gaps, zero
process gaps and zero inclusion gaps. In the course of
business oper ations, if an y one of the 5 gaps wa s delayed,
it would impede the enterprise to make quick response to
customer needs and changes of business environment.
This paper is based on the special operation and arch i-
tecture concept for zero-time enterprise, discusses the
issue how to effectively motivate internal staff to instant
respond to customer needs.
2.2 The Characteristics and Principles of
Zero-Time Enterprise Incentive
The zero-time enterprise’s mission is response to the
market and customer needs in “zero time” in order to
gain more customers and competitive advantages. To
respond to the market and customers in zero-time, it must
ensure the employees with high enthusiasm and creativ-
ity, and have a strong sense of responsibility or urgency,
so that they can do their work conscientiously to ensure
quick and smooth implementation. All behaviors of em-
ployees are in pursuit of some kinds of benefits or avoid
some disadvantages, thus physically and psychologically
inevitably effects in the corresponding preferences and
aversion. Incentive is to promote the common tendency
of preferences and aversion in order to promote the sus-
tainable development of enterprise. Of course, this ten-
dency is different for different people, but one thing is in
common, that is to be instant and appropriate. To this end,
it is necessary to give employees the appropriate incen-
tives, but also to motivate them immediately. In appropri-
ate incentives, overweight or too light incentives can not
really realize the purpose; while the incentives are out of
time, too early or too late, it would lose the original
meaning of incentives. It follows those instant and ap-
propriate incentives critical. Therefore, the zero-time
enterprise is characterized as instantaneous. The appro-
priation is the core principle of enterprise incentives,
manifested in details as follows:
1) The appropriate intensity. Incentives are divided to
positive and negative one, positive incentives shall be
rewarded, and negative incentives shall be punished.
Rewards and punishments will directly influence the in-
centive effects. The overweight reward will make staff
generate the feelings of pride and satisfaction, inducing
loss of desire to further enhance themselves; the too ligh t
reward will not induce the incentive effects, or to make
them get the feeling of not being taken seriously. The
excessive punishment will make staffs feel injustice, or
loss the identity to enterprise, and even induce the emo-
tions of cacanny or damage; too light punishment will
make staff underestimate the seriousness of the error,
which may also continue to make the same mistake.
2) The appropriate fair. The appropriate fair is one of
the most important principles in staff motivation, any
unfair treatment will affect their work efficiency and
emotion, so that affect the incentive effects. The staff
with the same achievements should receive the same
level of incentives; similarly, the staff committing the
same mistakes should subject to the same level of pun-
ishment. If it is failure to do so, the managers prefer not
to award or not to pu ni sh.
3) The appropriate time. The core of instant incentives
is “quick”, as the saying in the ancient book of “Si Ma
Art of War”, which promoted “never miss the right op-
portunity to reward, and cannot wait to punish until sol-
dier leaves the group.” That emphasized only instant in-
centives could make people be quickly aware of the re-
sults of doing good or bad. “Execute an example of re-
wards and punishments to a hundred”, which generates
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
the shock and sensational effects, in order to achieve the
goal that “found credit of rewards, and retain force of
Enterprise always strives for benefits, maximum bene-
fits is pursuit, while the employees’ maximum achieve-
ments itself is the basis for enterprise to maximize bene-
fits. Therefore, managers must grasp the instant character
of incentives, so that to maximize employees’ achieve-
ments. Managers are required to be familiar with the
specific characteristics of opportunity in order to iden tify
and apply at all times. One character is that opportunity
is always hidden, it is impossible for staffs to expose all
their desires, but often to be hidden. Through the tortuous
courses and complicated mental activities, reflecting in
words, behaviors and expressions, and then it is observed
by others. Therefore, it is required that managers should
learn to carefully weigh up employees’ words and watch
their expressions, gain an insight into their mentality.
Second, opportunity is transient. Th e desires do not keep
unchanging, but always go with people’s needs and so-
cial values changes. Third, opportunity is changeable, it
is similar to the transient, for example, a person takes
more emphasis on material motivation at one time, how-
ever, when his family’s economic condition has been
greatly improved, his needs would be more transferred to
the spirit (that is, honor awards). Accord ing to these three
characteristics, managers can more easily and more ac-
curately grasp the principles of appropriate incentives.
4) The appropriate method. There are several kinds of
incentives. It is required to apply appropriate incentive
method according to the different objects. The objects
and method should be matched to get the incentive ef-
fects. As the different requirements of different employ-
ees, the same incentives would play a variety of incentive
effects. Even the same person at different times or envi-
ronment, would also have different needs. As the incen-
tive is depended on the internal feelings of staff, the in-
centives must vary in person. During the process of for-
mulation and implementation incentive method, firstly, it
required to make a thorough investigation what are their
actual needs. Organize, classify, and then determine the
appropriate incentives.
5) The appropriate object. This principle mainly sug-
gests that incentives need to seek truth from facts, re-
quiring the subjected object should be the right person or
team who has actually made contribution. In other words,
reward those who should be subjected to reward, punish
those who should be punished.
6) The appropriate place. This principle mainly pro-
poses that incentives should be based on specific condi-
tions. It can not mechanically carry out the positive in-
centives and negative incentives. For any positive incen-
tives, reward on the right spot can execute an example of
rewards to a hundred; for some negative incen tives, pun-
ishment on the spot can not execute an example of pun-
ishments to a hundred, oppositely, it will bruise staffs’
self-respect and enthusiasm.
Generally, instantaneous and appropriation are inter-
related and complementary. The core of appropriation
principle is required that incentives are consistent with
merits and demerits. It is undesirable that neither award
is greater than or less than achievements, nor punishment
is greater than or less th an mistakes, but only appropriate
instantaneous and instan t appropriation can maxi mize the
effects of incentives. There is moderation for ev erything,
inappropriate control may induce going too far or not
getting the expected result, both of which should be
avoided in management. In short, it should pay attention
to the following six points: First, never reward without
any achievements, or never punish without any mistakes;
second, cannot lightly reward great achievements, or
cannot lightly punish big mistakes; third, cannot grandly
reward small achievements, or cannot heavily punish
little fault; fourth, the nu mber of incentives should not be
too much, nor too low; f if th, can no t rew ard mistak es and
punish the achievements; sixth, appropriate incentives
should be based on specific situations, including different
person, issues and conditions. It can not mechanically
carry out rewards an d p unishme nts.
3. Instant Incentive Mechanisms for
Zero-Time Enterprise
3.1 The Important Roles of Instant Incentives
Indubitably, instant incentive plays an extremely impor-
tant role in promoting the immediate response to the
market and customer needs. As the lack of instant incen-
tives will make employees unable to judge whether they
work correctly or not, it is difficult for them to develop
good habits, eventually leading to lower efficiency and
therefore it would be impossible to immediately respond
to the market and customers. Instant incentive is not on ly
an incentive approach, but also a business strategy. Thus
its roles are significant, which are as follows:
1) Instant incentive is the enterprise’s power system.
Under the established business strategy, it can be accel-
erated by instant incentives. Incentive to employees just
like accelerating running car on the highway that it is
required to step on it in orde r to make the car able to ac-
celerate to a specific speed. Similarly, employees also
need incentives to encourage them work hard, allowing
have full of enthusiasm and strong innovation. If you can
not give an immediate incentive, employees will gradu-
ally become slack, would be difficult to effectively im-
plement business strategies, and thus it’s unable to
achieve instant response to customer and market. There-
fore, instant incentive is enterprise’s power system and
accelerator as well.
2) Instant incentive is the correction system for busi-
ness strategy implementation. Under the established busi-
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
ness strategy, employees’ hard working play important
role in achieving business’s objectives, thus it’s highly
necessary to ensure them positively and efficien tly throw
in to gear. Instant incentives indicate that: What is right
and what is wrong. Instant incentive is charged with the
correction system functions for business strategy imple-
mentation, emplo yees will be more concentrated on wo rk
when their acts have been affirmed and strengthened,
while some of their acts can be immediately rectified if
they did not meet the requirements, so as to ensure the
smooth implementation of the strategy.
3) Instant incentive is the activator used to make em-
ployees change behaviors. Effective instant incentives
can form collective memories, prompt them to develop
good habits, and improve work efficiency as well. Every
one has the instinct of self-motivation, which can fully
satisfy his demands, while stimulate the enthusiasm and
drive to improve efficiency. Therefore, the instant incen-
tive can be used to activate staff’s passion.
In conclusion, instant incentive has an extremely im-
portant role in motivation, however, how to fully play the
role of incentives, which required establishing an effec-
tive implementation mechanism for instant incentiv e.
3.2 The Basic Contents and Realization
Mechanisms of Instant Incentives
The realization mechanisms of instant incentives are de-
termined by their basic contents, only in accordance with
the contents can build practical and concrete realization
mechanisms. The basic contents include: understanding
the actual needs of employees, formulate reasonable in-
centive systems, grasp the appropriate opportunity to
motivate staff, establish incentive model for the knowl-
edge team based on the psychological contract, and form
“Trine” implementation mechanism.
1) Understand the actual needs of employees.
The managers need to really take consideration on the
employees’ position, to think about their work motiva-
tion and hardship paid for work; from their points of
view to consider their work and should be paid remu-
neration and reward issues. For the staff with success on
a particular position, certainly there would be other mo-
tives and needs o ther than h is daily responsibilities set b y
organization. For example, he may want to make more
money, to travel abroad with his girlfriend, as well as to
repay his family; or if he wants to promote himself and to
be a manager in order to win the admiration and so on.
All these are his motives and needs outside of the daily
responsibilities; managers must dig out these motives, so
as to truly understand the emp loyees in order to establish
instant and effective in centive schemes.
Most of time, people have been accustomed to using
tower type “Need-hierarchy theory”, which was p roposed
by Abraham · H · Maslow in the 50 years of 20th century
[5], to explain the employee needs and guide the formu-
lation of incentives. In fact, if we change the perspective
of the employee needs, perhaps it may be more realistic
and more practical. We believe that whether employees
can keep mind on work and even work hard, depending
on the ability of the business or how to meet employees
in the following four aspects: material benefits, career
ideals, sense of belonging, and marginal pursuit.
Material benefits: To determine a person whether is
willing to work in the enterprise, an impor tant variable is
the level of material benefits provided by the enterprise.
Obviously, the employees not only want to have accu-
mulation under the premise of feeding themselves and
families, but also need access to a cultural-sociological
identity, as in a particular social environment, the salary
is an important aspect reflecting social status. In addition,
quite high proportions of senior human talents tend to
judge how much respect and the value of their cognition
they would get in the enterprises by the level of material
benefits provided by their business. However, material
benefits it is not the one and only factor for all the staffs
to choose business and to fulfill their responsibilities.
Obviously, if the employee is highly devoted to business,
but he was not placed in appropriate positions closed to
his profession, even if be paid much better material
benefits, he could also hardly concentrate on work.
Career ideals: it is the person’s wish that he would like
to make achievements in his favorite area, being enviab le
and satisfactory or proud of himself, even if this wish
may be just a staged achievement. The person’s career
ideals are commensurate with his education, working and
living environment, personal hobbies, personality and
personal pursuit, and related to the particular social val-
ues as well. For the person with strong career ideals, the
enterprise may not be attracted to him by the high wages,
but merely provide him with training opportunities for
learning and displaying his talent. For such employee,
it’s just required to provide him with a platform to
achieve personal ambition, he might be satisfied, and
then throw himself into work.
Sense of belonging: the sense of belonging is an inte-
grated sense for the employees’ own businesses, such as
whether they feel security in enterprise, whether it is
worthwhile to throw h imself into work , with or without a
sense of honor, whether be respected, whether there are
harmonious interpersonal relations, whether the enter-
prises treat employees friendly, with or without long-
term development and so on. In essence, every one will
hope to work in the enterprise with a sense of belonging.
Once the staff feels that he is working for the enterprise
without any sense of belonging, he would not keep his
mind on the work, and also can not effectively complete
his own duties.
Marginal pursuit: Someone work in enterprise, simply
because of taking the enterprise as springboard, that is to
accumulate capitals/create conditions/pass time for his
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
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further new job opportunities, we call this pursuit as
“marginal pursuit”. In fact, not only the person, who
takes enterprise as springboard, is possessed of marginal
pursuit, but also all of whom would have the possibility
of the similar pursuit. For example, someone may prefer
to living in a certain city, so as to choose a company in
this city; someone may not change another company just
because his current located one is closed to his family;
someone may not be attracted by another company’s
higher wage just because he could access to higher social
assessment now. The concept of marginal pursuit is pro-
posed for the meaning that, if companies are good at dig-
ging and encourage their staffs to obtain the marginal
pursuit, it will be conductive to improving the relation-
ship between staffs and companies, that is to increase the
attraction of companies to staffs, and staffs’ loyalty to
company. For example, if a senior worker cannot keep
his mind on work due to the distance from his family, the
enterprise could just try to solve the decantation of his
wife, which comes up to satisfy his marginal pursuit, so
that he could thro w himself into work afterwards.
In practice, when company managers try to understand
the actual needs of employees, they need to considerate
from the vertical and horizontal two angles. From the
vertical view, the employees with different levels of
knowledge and salaries would also possess different de-
mands. As for the employees with lower salary, it will
focus on meeting their material benefits and sense of
belonging, that is, to improve their living conditions. As
for the employees with higher salary, it should pay more
attention to meet their career ideals and marginal pursuit.
From the horizontal view, for the employees in same
levels, the focuses of their demands are also different
because of the differences of their personality and living
environments. Someone may highly focus on material
benefits due to personality characteristics; someone may
much like to be praised, and enjoy the spiritual sense of
achievement; and also someone may be good at studying
techniques, be possessed of strong learning desires, while
not deeply need money. Therefore, it’s required to “tai-
lor-made” list of requirements for different employees.
In conclusion, as the staff needs are complex and di-
versified, it’s really not easy to truly understand every-
one’s needs. The managers need to make more effort,
from the vertical and horizontal angles of view, in order
to summarize the real demands of each staff, then to find
the two or three dominant demands and give targeted
incentives for them.
2) Reconstruct the balanced model for organiza-
tional structure under zero-time competition.
Management contingency principle indicated that
various kinds of management methods are effective, but
the most suitable one is the best one. To accord with the
fundamental principles of contingency management, it’s
required to appropriately combine the organization stra-
tegic goals, organizational structure and employee condi-
tions, etc., to carry through self-summarization, self-
creation, so as to develop a suitable organizational as-
sessment model. TBC environment has broken up the
original balance of the organizational structure, which
urgently needs to be restructured, through changing con-
trol method and control structures. In a new balance, all
levels of staffs should be clear about themselves roles
and responsibilities. It is encouraged to achieve “free
hand” management and bottom-up participation, and it
will be applied to a new performance management sys-
tem, so as to enhance the flexibility of performance
management. However, it’s useless to just orally appeal
“free hand” management and bottom-up participation,
but also needs some quick and effective methods. Such
as the power down, so that making decisions by the most
qualified person, and entrusting the people in different
levels with different freedom of making discretions (As
for the general small proposals can be assessed by the
staff themselves to take action, while the more important
proposals are assessed and determined by sector manag-
ers, and the major ones are handled by the leaders in
charge of the whole department, and so on). Meanwhile,
the proposal can also step across the traditional bot-
tom-up approving process, establishing the proposals
management department, which makes the acceptance,
evaluation, submission and the numbers of proposals
adopted by company be included to the assessment of
3) Construct the integrated evaluation model for
performance results and behaviors under zero-time
Usually, the performance evaluation, which is focus-
ing on results, is results-oriented, focusing on work’s
final performance, and its evaluatio n contents are mainly
concentrated on the actual outcomes; while the perform-
ance evaluation, which is process-oriented, is concen-
trated on employees’ behaviors, effort intensity and work
attitudes in process of their working. As the working
process in Zero-Time Enterprise is much more compli-
cated, the employees’ performances have significantly
compounded characteristics, it should synthetically
evaluate their work process and behavioral outcomes.
The performance evaluation for non-procedural worker,
it should be result-oriented as far as possible; while for
procedural knowledge worker, it can use behav-
ior-oriented approach. If it is uncertain to find the em-
ployees’ performance results, the outcome itself is not
easy to be quantified, the value reflecting is lagging, and
it is of strong professionalism and innovation, then its
performance evaluation needs to combine the behav-
ior-oriented approach and result-oriented one.
In recent years, objective management, key perform-
ance indicators, balanced scorecard and other perform-
ance assessment methods become very popular in many
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
companies, but they often ignore the behavioral anchors
titration, behavioral observ ation scales such as the use of
technology for performance evaluation. In fact, from the
view of development of performance management in
western enterprises, objective management, key per-
formance indicators, balanced scorecard, etc., are the
tools for strategic performance assessment, which would
be able to connect employee performances to the strategy
of the whole organization. However, the tools for strate-
gic performance assessment are inseparable from the
performance evaluation methods and technology support.
Many performance evaluation techniques such as behav-
ioral anchors titration and behavioral observation scales
can directly provide specific behavioral degrees and
evaluation scales, for the evaluator to establish a uniform
evaluation standa rd, will not only help managers to make
objective evaluation, but also help to guide staffs’ per-
formance behaviors.
4) Construct double evaluation model of individ-
ual-team under zero-time competition.
The staffs in Zero-Time Enterprise in many cases are
in the form of teamwork, the character of this work de-
termines that the performance evaluation can not only be
aimed at individual work, but should also evaluate the
working conditions of the entire team. If only consider
the individual performance indicators, it would induce
employees to focus only on the quality of their own work
and performance, so as to lack of team spirit, be poor in
collaboration, this will reduce the efficien cy of the entire
team, and even lead to team conflicts and confusion.
Therefore, in the design of evaluation indicators, on the
one hand that it should consider the individual behavior
and work results; on the other hand, it has to consider the
work progress, work quality and team cohesion an d other
factors, to pay attention to the integration and consis-
tency of individual and team indicators. Including the
team indicators into the performance evaluation system
of knowledge-based staffs, will help to improve the
sprint of teamwork, encourage the cooperation among
the staffs, so that the team can efficiently complete the
intended objectives.
5) Grasp the appropriate incentives opportunity.
Incentives need to follow the principle of appropriate
opportunity. Generally, it’s required to be accorded with
the strongest stage of the staffs’ desires of winning award,
so as to get the best incentives efficiency. As to the re-
wards aspect, Marshall who is the famous general in
United States, believes that the troop of outstanding per-
formance in the battle should be praised promptly, he
said that awards can run immediately, be announced to
the press; while clerical work can be followed up, its
requirement of filling in a variety of forms would cause
time delay, which would reduce the incentives value to
the lowest perception. Any delaying ideas and behaviors
always lost the incentive role of reward, resulting in
empty result of reward.
Of course, the instant incentive is not simply to be
done quickly. It mainly reflects the style of speedy and
strict enforcement, but not mechanically implement, its
premise is based on the right clear and accurate incen-
tives. If the incentive objective is error, and its character
is not exact, it would be not only meaningless, but also
cause harmful effects. Therefore, the principle of instant
incentives, is not for the sake of speed, but must be
strictly controlled.
6) Establish incentive model for knowledge-based
team based on psychological contract.
Zero-Time Enterprise should be knowledge-based en-
terprise, the composition of its team members should be
knowledge-based workers. Therefore, incentives for
knowledge-based team should focus on the achievement
and growth of knowledge-based workers. Only if fully
encourage their enthusiasm, it would drive them all to-
gether to work hard, so as to make team play greater
synergistic effect and to create better performances; as to
incentive method, it emphasizes the combin ation of indi-
vidual incentives, team incentives and organizational
incentives; as to incentive time effect, it should combine
their short-term incentives and long-term incentives,
which stresses the long-term positive effect of incen tives
for human talent; as to the design for incentive compen-
sation mechanism, it would have to establish incentive
model for knowledge-based team based on psychological
contract [6].
The incentive model for knowledge-based team based
on psychological contract is shown in Figure 1 (dashed
lines represent the feedback lines, while solid lines rep-
resent the causal relations).
The incentive model for knowledge-based team based
on psychological contract, transfers from the single eco-
nomic contract-based model to the model combined with
psychological contract and economic contract, with par-
ticular emphasis on the important role of psychological
contract in the incentives.
Firstly, psychological contract for external compensa-
tion and benefits is the basis of incentiv es, which directly
influent the effectiv eness of material motivation; second,
psychological contract for internal reward values is the
core of incentives, which can enhance mutual sense of
responsibility, sense of duty, self-discipline and self-
control, so as to lead values of both sides to convergence,
and form intrinsic motivation; third, the psychological
contract for work atmosphere is the guarantee for incen-
tives, which can provide more relaxed atmosphere for
organization, form a democratic management style with
sufficient authority to built interpersonal relationships
full of trust, compassion and respect, so as to construct
an internal contract system with the guarantee of mutual
support; finally, the key to incentives are the recognition
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
Construction of Psych ological Contract
Psychological contract for work
Psychological contract for external
compensation and benefits Material
Quality Skills
Role Perception
Team Co mm itme n t
Fairness of comparison of organizational commitment and society
Psychological contract for internal
reward values
Figure 1. The incentive models for knowledge-based team based on psychological contract
for the employees’ value and equitable reward. Knowl-
edge-based worker will pay great atten tion to the correla-
tion between the values of his own knowledge and skills
and his rewards, only with full respect for the value
choice of knowledge-based worker and active fulfilling
of promise showing a fair, these employees would just
take the most advantage of their own talent.
7) Form “Trine” realization mechanism.
Instant incentive mechanism is established based on
the immediate characteristics and the appropriate princi-
ples. To successfully implement this mechanism, we
have to propose the “Trine” realization mechanism, as
shown in Figure 2. The so-called “triad” represents
transposition, orientation and position. First of all,
through considering in exchanging positions, managers
can understand the actual needs of employees; then, de-
termine the reasonable performance management system
according to the actual needs, that is orientation; finally,
To determine the
Grasp at the right
time to inspire
To understand the actual
needs of employees
Figure 2. “Trine” realization mechanism
grasp at the right time to provide instant incentives, that
is just in position. As the dynamic demands of employees,
it’s required to plan the three as a whole. This is the ori-
gin of “Trine” realization mechanism. If take instant in-
centives as a business strategy, the “Trine” realization
mechanism is the right process and methods of the strat-
egy implementation.
In short, personnel is a very complicated element in
enterprise, if want to make them work actively and duti-
fully, and let the incentives to be the “welco me rain”, it’s
required to spare no efforts to think how to effectively
motivate employees. For this reason, instant incentives
have already produced good effects in some companies.
For example, Cisco attaches great importance to the re-
tention of good staff by material rewards, one of which is
“Instant Award”. If the staff has exceeded the usual in
sales performance, then his master can momentarily re-
ward him within the range of $50 to $2000 USD. In IBM,
there is a “Golden Banana Award”. One day, a young
man walked into IBM founder Tom · Watson’s office
and told him that he had made a remarkable achievement.
Hearing this, Watson was very happy and would like to
reward this young man. However, he sought through his
desk drawers only to find a banana; therewith he re-
warded the boy just with this golden yellow banana.
Since then, the “Golden Banana” has become a symbol
of the achievements for IBM employees.
4. Conclusions
In modern enterprise management, employee incentive
issues have more and more attracted the managers’ atten-
tions, and the “incentive” is also one of the key charac-
Study of the Instant Incentive Mechanism for Zero-Time Enterprise
Copyright © 2010 SciRes JSSM
ters for modern human resources management being dif-
ferent from the traditional one. There is no t only regular-
ity, but also strong skill or artistry in incentive manage-
ment. Managers must be good at deep analyzing and
studying the characteristics of enterprise management
and the workforce based on specific situations, take the
effective and targeted measures, so that employees’ in-
ternal energy are fully inspired in order to provide pow-
erful driving force for business development. Although
the instant incentiv es were not newly proposed, it is nec-
essary to actively study for effective good use of instant
incentive mechanism, and different business practices
would be different.
5. Acknowledgements
This paper is supported by China Postdoctoral Science
Foundation (supporting ID: 20090460995).
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