Performance related pay: what makes a successful scheme?
Kelly, Aisling and Monks, Kathy (1997) Performance related pay: what makes a successful scheme? DCU Business School Research Paper Series. (Paper No. 19). Dublin City University Business School, Ireland. ISSN: 1393-290X
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The complexities surrounding the issue of reward management can be seen as indicative of the contradictions that exist within the discipline labelled human resource management (HRM). For example, Storey's (1992: 27) distinction between 'hard' and 'soft' HRM identifies the need for 'strategic interventions designed to elicit commitment and to develop resourceful humans' ('soft' HRM) and 'strategic interventions designed to achieve full utilisation of labour resources' ('hard' HRM. The current state of knowledge on reward systems suggests that these are often designed to attempt both strategic interventions together; how successful they are on either count is perhaps less well documented. This tension within HRM has been noted by several writers and the processes currently used to reward individuals have been well scrutinised (Smith, 1992; Legge, 1995; Kessler, 1995). In the final
analysis, it appears that many of the reward initiatives pursued represent no more than a 'shuffling of the pack' (Kessler, 1995:274), rather than any innovative, integrated strategy which could be considered part of a distinctive HRM approach.
This paper considers one aspect of the current debate on reward systems by examining the operation of a PRP scheme in a multi-divisional company in Ireland. Before considering the findings of the research, the paper first of all considers some of the evidence available on the operation of PRP systems and describes the background to the study and the methodology used in the research.
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