Conceptions of Fair Pay: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Research

Conceptions of Fair Pay: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Research

Conceptions of Fair Pay: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Research

Conceptions of Fair Pay: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Research

Synopsis

This work focuses on the factors affecting an individual's perceived fairness of pay, and offers an interdisciplinary approach that draws on research done along all major theoretical perspectives. The book's four-part structure gradually introduces the reader to the subject. It begins with an introduction to sources of recent interest in the topic, and follows with a review of relevant theories, their critiques, and major controversies, as well as an up-to-date survey of empirical research. The final chapters examine conclusions drawn from these findings and discuss their implications for pay policy.

Excerpt

Organizational behavior theorists as well as compensation theorists agree that an understanding of the subjective pay-fairness perceptions of employees is crucial for understanding their organizational behavior and reactions to given pay schemes; and hardly any textbook on these topics fails to mention this. At the same time, all admit that except perhaps for an exposition of Adams (1963, 1965) equity theory, they have little to convey to their readers on this topic. While this may have been true to some extent a few years ago, it does not reflect the present situation. From the middle of the 1970s, relevant research and theorizing have gained momentum and a substantial body of materials on the subject is now available. However, many, especially outsiders not intensively involved in researching this issue as well as some insiders, in particular those too involved in following a particular avenue, find it difficult to keep abreast of these new developments. a major reason for this difficulty lies in the great fragmentation of research effort on the subject caused by competing theories and paradigms and sharpened by mutual critiques. Disciplinary divisions, such as that between psychologists and sociologists, have added to the fragmentation which in turn has led to a wide scattering of publications in many books and journals and little cross-referencing between researchers not sharing the same perspective and discipline. a recent book even remarks that geography also emerges as a dividing factor (Deutsch, 1985: 107). True, in the 1980s several volumes appeared that showed clear signs of a willingness to lower the barriers somewhat by publishing works conducted under the influence of a variety of theoretical orientations and by researchers of differing disciplinary affiliations (e.g., Mikula, 1980; Lerner and Lerner, 1981; Greenberg and Cohen, 1982; Messick and Cook, 1983; Bierhoff,Cohen, and Greenberg, 1986; Masters and Smith, 1987). But the main dividing lines were maintained and merely transferred to the publications . . .

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