Sharing is its own reward?

Offering rewards (recognition or even monetary incentives) for knowledge sharing is a pretty common practice. David Gurteen wonders if that is a good idea. He uses Wikipedia of a good example where sharing is its own reward.

My philosophy is that I expect people in my organization to contribute to the knowledge base. There’s a bare minimum level of effort there that is really considered part of their job.

As David points out, some folks are more passionate about topic areas than others. Those people tend to contribute at a higher level and quality than those who begrudgingly contribute because they “have to”. A performance review is a good time to recognize those who are exceeding expectations there. Public recognition for a particularly valliant effort is also obviously good. This seems like Management 101 to me.

One-time cash rewards for knowledge contributions–even with a “quality rating” built in–doesn’t enforce the right behavior in the right way, in my opinion.