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瀏覽:加拿大essay代写,paper代写,Homework代写-致远教育 日期:2019-06-15

THE IMPORTANCE OF PAY IN EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE SAY AND WHAT THEY DO
Human Resource
It is easy to overestimate the frequency with which adults actually go to the opera and underestimate the frequency withm which they watch TV cartoons on Saturday mornings, based on their self-reports.
(Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994, p. 383)
Rynes, Colbert, and Brown (2002) presentedthe following statement to 959 membersof the Society for Human Resource
Management (SHRM): “Surveys that directlyask employees how important pay is tothem are likely to overestimate pay’s true importance
in actual decisions” (p. 158). If ourinterpretation (and that of Rynes et al.) of
the research literature is accurate, then thecorrect true-false answer to the above statementis “false.” In other words, people are
more likely to underreport than to overreport the importance of pay as a motivational factor
in most situations. Put another way, research
suggests that pay is much more important
in people’s actual choices and
behaviors than it is in their self-reports of
what motivates them, much like the cartoon
viewers mentioned in the quote above. Yet,
only 35% of the respondents in the Rynes et
al. study answered in a way consistent with
research findings (i.e., chose “false”).
Our objective in this article is to show
that employee surveys regarding the importance
of various factors in motivation generally
produce results that are inconsistent
with studies of actual employee behavior. In
particular, we focus on well-documented
findings that employees tend to say that pay
THE IMPORTANCE OF PAY IN EMPLOYEE
MOTIVATION: DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN
WHAT PEOPLE SAY AND WHAT THEY DO
Human Resource Management, Winter 2004, Vol. 43, No. 4, Pp. 381–394
© 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Published online in Wiley InterScience DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20031
Sara L. Rynes, Barry Gerhart, and Kathleen A. Minette
A majority of human resources professionals appear to believe that employees are likely to overreport
the importance of pay in employee surveys. However, research suggests the opposite is actually
true. We review evidence showing the discrepancies between what people say and do with
respect to pay. We then discuss why pay is likely to be such an important general motivator, as
well as a variety of reasons why managers might underestimate its importance. We note that pay
is not equally important in all situations or to all individuals, and identify circumstances under
which pay is likely to be more (or less) important to employees. We close with recommendations
for implementing research findings with respect to pay and suggestions for evaluating pay systems.
© 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Correspondence to: Sara L. Rynes, Tippie College of Business, 108 PBB, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
382 • HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, Winter 2004
is less important to them than it actually is.
This is an important point because if employees’
reports are taken at face value, HR
professionals are likely to seriously underestimate
the motivational potential of pay.
Moreover, a quick survey of the journals or
magazines that are most often read by practitioners
(in particular, HR Magazine for HR
professionals and Harvard Business Review
for general managers) suggests that they, too,
tend to take employee surveys at face value
without carefully examining the behavioral
evidence related to pay and motivation.
In the section that follows, we first present
evidence demonstrating the gap between
what people say and what they do with respect
to pay. We then show that practitioner
journals present claims about pay importance
that are inconsistent with research about the
actual motivational effects of pay. In general,
there appears to be a consistent (but incorrect)
message to practitioners that pay is not
a very effective motivator—a message that, if
believed, could cause practitioners to seriously
underestimate the motivational potential
of a well-designed compensation system.
Gaps between What People Say and Do
with Respect to Pay
Table I presents findings from a number of
major studies that have attempted to determine
the importance of pay to employees,
relative to other potential motivators. In the
first column are the results of studies that
have simply asked people to rate or rank
pay’s importance, relative to other potential
motivators. In the right-hand column are
the results of studies in real, ongoing organizations
that examine differences in
work output following implementation of
various motivational interventions: modifications
of pay systems, work redesign, increases
in employee participation, and enhanced
performance feedback. In order to
increase the reliability of the conclusions
drawn, we included only studies that are either
narrative reviews of the literature,
meta-analytic reviews (which incorporate
the data from many individual studies into a
single large-scale empirical analysis),1 or
single studies with very large sample sizes
(e.g., Jurgensen 1978, which had over
50,000 respondents, and Towers Perrin
2003, which had over 35,000.
As the first column of Table I shows,
when asked directly about the importance of
pay, people tend to give it answers that place
somewhere around fifth (range = second to
eighth) in lists of potential motivators. In
contrast, meta-analytic studies of actual behaviors
in response to motivational initiatives
(second column) nearly always show pay to
be the most effective motivator. Indeed, after
conducting the first such meta-analysis with
respect to motivational interventions, Locke,
Feren, McCaleb, Shaw, and Denny (1980)
concluded: “Money is the crucial incentive
. . . no other incentive or motivational technique
comes even close to money with respect
to its instrumental value” (p. 379).
Subsequent research has continued to support
their conclusion.
Why do such discrepancies occur, and
how can psychological theories help us explain
them? The common tendency for people
to say one thing but do another is known
as socially desirable responding: “the tendency
to choose items that reflect societally approved
behaviors” (Nunnally & Bernstein,
1994, p. 382). Social desirability stems from
either a lack of self-insight or a lack of frankness
(Nunnally & Bernstein, 1994). In the
case of pay, people are likely to understate importance
either because they misjudge how
they might react to, say, an offer of a higherpaying
job, or due to social norms that view
money as a less noble source of motivation
than factors such as challenging work or work
that makes a contribution to society.
Generally speaking, the more a particular
question touches on strongly held social
values, the less valid direct self-reports are
likely to be. In such cases, both managers
and researchers must find additional ways of
ferreting out more valid information. Recognizing
this, some researchers have approached
the topic of pay importance by examining
how employees’ behaviors (such as
turnover or performance) change in response
to changes in pay and other HR practices
(e.g., the second column in Table I).
These behavioral responses are far more
compelling pieces of evidence than people’s
In general,
there appears to
be a consistent
(but incorrect)
message to
practitioners
that pay is not
a very effective
motivator—a
message that, if
believed, could
cause
practitioners to
seriously
underestimate
the
motivational
potential of a
well-designed
compensation
system.


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