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Perceptions of justice in connection with individualized pay setting
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (A/O)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (A/O)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (A/O)
2007 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, Vol. 28, no 3, 431-464 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Individualized pay is typically assumed to enhance employee work motivation, but a precondition for such beneficial effects is that employees perceive the pay-setting process to be fair. The aim of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the nature, determinants and consequences of pay justice. Questionnaire data, obtained from a Swedish nationally representative sample of nurses, provided support for distinguishing between distributive, procedural, interpersonal and informational justice. The results also showed that perceptions of pay justice were predicted by both work climate variables and factors related to the pay-setting procedure, even after controlling for demographic characteristics. Although pay justice had only marginal effects on employee work attitudes and behaviour when demographics, work climate and pay-related factors had been taken into account, justice was found to be an important goal in itself, given that a prerequisite for the success of any pay system is that it is perceived as fair.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Sage Publications , 2007. Vol. 28, no 3, 431-464 p.
Keyword [en]
fairness, gender equality, motivation, performance review, salary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37501DOI: 10.1177/0143831X07079356ISI: 000249099500006OAI: diva2:302540
Available from: 2010-03-15 Created: 2010-03-08 Last updated: 2010-04-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Employee perspectives on individualized pay: Attitudes and fairness perceptions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Employee perspectives on individualized pay: Attitudes and fairness perceptions
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The use of various types of individualized pay setting has increased dramatically in Sweden. In order for individualized pay to work as an incentive, the pay system has to be perceived as fair. This thesis focuses on the various subjective perceptions that arise in relation to individualized pay setting, since such perceptions may have consequences for employee attitudes and behavior. Using survey data from Swedish human service workers (Study I and II) as well as other public employees (Study III), the general aim was to shed more light on employees’ pay attitudes and fairness perceptions in connection with individualized pay setting. Study I examined some of the explanatory factors behind employee pay attitudes. The results showed that perceiving a clear connection between work results and pay, and perceiving a sound working climate, were both related to more positive attitudes towards the pay distribution process. Study II examined factors potentially associated with pay-related justice perceptions. The results demonstrated that perceptions of having sufficient feedback, proper information on pay criteria, gender equality, and lower workloads were connected with more favorable views of pay justice. Pay justice perceptions, in turn, appeared only to be marginally connected with employees’ work-related attitudes and behavior. Study III investigated whether women’s and men’s perceptions of the individualized pay-setting process differed. The results showed that both genders had a similar awareness of the organizational policies and goals. The women, however, reported much lower levels of pay-related gender equality than the men and perceived that men, overall, benefited more from individualized pay setting. In conclusion, employees’ perceptions of a well-functioning working climate, apparent links between work effort and pay, as well as perceived equal opportunities contribute to individualized pay systems being viewed as more fair.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2010. 70 p.
individualized pay setting, fairness, pay attitudes, gender differences, equal opportunities, pay system, work climate, justice perceptions
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Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38308 (URN)978-91-7447-025-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-05-27, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-05 Created: 2010-04-08 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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