When even a staunch defender of capitalism like Forbes Magazine says that “Money is not the best motivator” I consider the issue settled.
From the article:
There is ample evidence to suggest that money may not be the best way to motivate desirable behavior. In fact, it may be one of the worst ways.
Money is a byproduct, and usually a secondary one at that, for such achievers.
Emotional sources of motivation are more powerful, and they are best conveyed informally in an organization through the respect of peers, the admiration of subordinates, the approval of one’s personal network and community and the like. Money becomes the default motivator because it is measurable, tangible and fungible — and trouble strikes when the prospect of a lot of money becomes the primary goal.
I would of course argue, that the very best motivator is happiness at work :o)