Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design

IMA Members

The IMA offers curriculum which includes a downloadable Principles of Result-Based Incentive Program Design Source Book, a web page of 30+ resource documents, and a video file of an instructor teaching an in-person course offering.

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Non-Members may purchase the complete Principles Curriculum while registering for the Incentive Professional (IP) exam.

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IMA Members

The website-accessible Principles curriculum is available for free to IMA members. Log in and view the Principles of Result-Based Incentive Program Curriculum and IP Video.

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Non-Members may purchase the complete Principles Curriculum for $75.00 while registering for the Incentive Professional (IP) exam or by contacting Emily Johnson. To purchase the curriculum, complete the Incentive Professional (IP) Exam Registration Form.

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Just imagine… a publication that was developed to help incentive industry professionals, and those organizations interested in learning more about the field of incentives, to understand and apply incentive program principles.

…a manual filled with numerous articles, studies and white papers that have been consolidated and organized for your use.
… a source book that will help incentive program practitioners in formulating and implementing successful incentive programs of the future.
… a signature curriculum that engages you through the use of real-life information and relevant research – all packaged in a user-friendly presentation.

That‘s what‘s featured in the revised and expanded Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design (Principles).

Principles is the foundation of the Incentive Marketing Association‘s (IMA) certification program and Incentive Professional (IP) designation. The content in Principles functions as the key resource to your mastery of a 100-question Exam that leads to IP designation, and the first of three steps to certification (CPIM) status.

Principles also now functions as a productive instrument to help incentive and industry professionals APPLY the information featured in the Principles Curriculum Resource to real-world situations. You will find that the content in the Nine Chapters and Appendix:
  • is important and immediately applicable
  • relates to our daily activities
  • features real business situations
  • highlights real experiences

Just imagine… how successful you can become with this vital knowledge at your fingertips.

Based on the latest research on incentive and recognition programs and employee and customer motivation, this curriculum is relevant for incentive professionals who specify, design, implement and/or advocate incentive and recognition programs as a means of improving performance.

Below is a recommended reading list of books which provide quality information regarding the building and implementation of incentive programs. This list was compiled by the Principles of Result-Based Incentive Program course instructor and IMA Past President, Sean Roark, CPIM.

These books are resourceful for numerous individuals, including:

  • People who are new to the incentive marketplace, both employees and clients, will get a succinct overview of the philosophy and mechanics of contemporary incentive programs.
  • Professional friends who have concentrated on a narrow segment of the industry, whether it is a single delivery system or a narrow vertical, will find these book offers an easy way to better understand how their specialty fits into the big picture and open the door to expand and diversify their involvement in the industry.
  • For those pursuing their CPIM designation. To give robust knowledge of the industry in preparation for your exam.
  • For industry experts, these offer tremendous reference work that gives an insightful snapshot of the current state of the art, backed by a thoughtful cross-section of white papers, studies and statistics. The materials serve as a valuable reference anytime you need insightful thoughts about incentive and appreciation systems.


  • It’s NOT About the Money!: 10 Steps to Designing Effective Non-Cash Incentive Programs that Retain Employees, Engage Customers, and Improve Business by Barbara Hendrickson, CPIM is available for purchase on Amazon and endorsed by the IMA Board of Directors.

  • The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton

  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

  • Managing With Carrots by Chester Elton

  • Strings Attached by Ruth W. Grant

  • Incentives: Motivation and the Economics of Information by Donald E. Campbell

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

  • Hard Facts, Dangerous Half Truths and Total Nonsense by Jeffrey Pfeiffer and Robert I. Sutton

  • Managing Talent Retention: An ROI Approach by Jack J. Phillips and Lisa Edwards
If you have any questions please contact, Emily Johnson at or 952-928-4649.