Performance related pay in practice : organisation and effect
Gilman, Mark William (1998) Performance related pay in practice : organisation and effect. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Gilman_1998.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1367833~S15
During the 1980s and 1990s, in the area of pay, 'performance-related pay
schemes' (PRP) became the ultimate buzz-word. The popularity of PRP reflected
pressure from two main sources. The first was management practitioners and
consultants, the second the goverments of the day. Both were reacting to what
they saw as a possible cure for the ills of economic recession. In other words, the
concept fitted well with an ethos of what successful companies should look like
and the kinds of policies that they should be utilising.
This thesis highlights the complexities of the organisation and the effects
of PRP in 16 case study organisations. It argues that, conceptually, PRP can be
examined with greater analytical foresight from a control perspective than from
the usual starting position of whether PRP is motivational or not.
In an attempt to highlight this, two processes were explored. The first
process concerns the 'effort bargain'. This involves the reorganisation of work in
a bid to standardise effort measurement, combined with attempts to intensify effort
levels. The second is a 'process bargain' which includes a change to an
organisation's administration systems. Examples include human resource
management, differing systems of budgetary control and performance
management which all involve subsequent changes to systems of rules,
measurement and control. Importantly, it will be argued that this is not a search
for control per se as simple labour process theory would predict. Representing
control and reactions to it as homogeneous is dangerous and misleading, and leads
to labour control systems becoming the sole focus of crisis. Rather, PRP
represents part of a wider search for competitive advantage which includes
restructuring and changes to the organisation.
While vagueness in the objective setting process was common to many of the
organisations, the research found that the changes in the companies studied here
were complicated by a search for control, compliance and consent. Further, the
outcomes were largely specific to each organisation, depending on the negotiation
of the 'politics of pay'. Ways in which they were aiming to do this were as
control labour costs and their distribution,
'mass individualism' - individual but standardised contracts,
flexible standardisation - the combined search for flexibility and
standardisation simultaneously and
management - as agents of restructuring.
An important omission was made in this process, however, and this
involved performance itself. In a bid to balance out the many contradictory forces,
performance was actually one of the last issues to be dealt with. The research
highlights why this is so. What the above implies is that faced with crisis,
organisations become involved in a renegotiation of effort and systems of control.
PRP is one way of achieving this in some organisations.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HF Commerce|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Merit pay -- Great Britain -- Case studies, Personnel management -- Great Britain -- Case studies, Organizational change -- Great Britain -- Case studies|
|Official Date:||September 1998|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Newell, Helen ; Edwards, P. K. (Paul K.)|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
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