Does Linking Worker Pay to Firm Performance Help the Best Firms Do Even Better?

30 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012 Last revised: 1 Apr 2015

See all articles by Douglas L. Kruse

Douglas L. Kruse

Rutgers University

Joseph Blasi

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies; Harvard University; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Date Written: January 2012

Abstract

This paper analyzes the linkages among group incentive methods of compensation, labor practices, worker assessments of workplace culture, turnover, and firm performance in a non-representative sample of companies: firms that applied to the "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" competition from 2005 to 2007. Although employers with good labor practices self- select into the 100 Best Companies firms sample, which should bias the analysis against finding strong associations among modes of compensation, labor policies, and outcomes, we find that in the firms that make more extensive use of group incentive pay employees participate more in decisions, have greater information sharing, trust supervisors more, and report a more positive workplace culture than in other companies. The combination of group incentive pay with policies that empower employees and create a positive workplace culture reduces voluntary turnover and increases employee intent to stay and raises return on equity. Finding these effects in the non-representative "100 Best Companies" sample strengthens the likelihood that the policies have a causal impact on employee well-being and firm performance.

Suggested Citation

Kruse, Douglas L. and Blasi, Joseph R. and Freeman, Richard B., Does Linking Worker Pay to Firm Performance Help the Best Firms Do Even Better? (January 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17745. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1985078

Douglas L. Kruse (Contact Author)

Rutgers University ( email )

Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States
908-445-5991 (Phone)
908-445-2830 (Fax)

Joseph R. Blasi

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick ( email )

Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States
732-445-5444 (Phone)
732-445-2830 (Fax)

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)
617-868-2742 (Fax)

University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies ( email )

Adam Ferguson Building
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LL
United Kingdom

Harvard University ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
608
PlumX Metrics