Variable Pay and Collective Bargaining in British Retail Banking

26 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011

See all articles by Paul Marginson

Paul Marginson

Warwick Business School

James Arrowsmith

Massey University - Department of Human Resource Management

Date Written: January 13, 2011

Abstract

The growth of variable pay schemes (VPS) appears to threaten collective approaches to pay determination, which are based on standardization and centralization. This article utilizes case study research to analyse the still little-known relationship between collective bargaining and VPS. It focuses on the retail banking sector, where trade union representation and collective bargaining remain relatively robust. The research identifies an emergent process whereby the growth of bonus schemes has both supplanted collective profit-share and permitted greater standardization of merit-pay awards. Unions have therefore achieved some success in terms of limiting variation in base pay, at the same time as the overall purchase of collective bargaining on employee earnings has diminished. The factors contributing to this development are explained.

Suggested Citation

Marginson, Paul and Arrowsmith, James, Variable Pay and Collective Bargaining in British Retail Banking (January 13, 2011). British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 54-79, March 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1745767 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2009.00768.x

Paul Marginson

Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)24 7652 4272 (Phone)

James Arrowsmith (Contact Author)

Massey University - Department of Human Resource Management ( email )

Palmerston North
New Zealand

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