The Dark Side of Pay for Performance ​White Paper

John R. Deckop, Ph.D., Temple University
Published Date: 
1 Aug 2012

What could possibly be wrong with pay for performance? Money is unquestionably a powerful motivator. Pay can encourage desired employee behaviors and discourage undesired behaviors. And there is justice in pay for performance. While should lesser performers receive the same pay raise or bonus as your leading performers?

To answer I will start with classic old story, or parable, which I will adapt: The Parable of the Old Man and the Football Game. There was once an old man who had recently retired from years working in the factory. He was a proud and good worker and always felt that he had plenty of ideas he could contribute to management if only someone would ask. But they never did. Anyway, the highlight of his retirement was the nap he could take every afternoon. For 40 years he would tire in the afternoon and wish he could take a nap. Now he could…

Dr. Deckop teaches in the Masters of Human Resource Management program in Singapore.

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