'Industrial relations' employee satisfaction dependent on more than relative pay

August 27, 2008

A new study in the journal Industrial Relations reveals that employee well-being is dependent upon the rank of an individual's wage within a comparison group, as opposed to the individual's absolute pay.

Gordon D.A. Brown, Jonathan Gardner, Andrew J. Oswald, and Jing Qian asked undergraduates to rate how satisfied they would be with wages they might be offered for their first job after college. Subjects expressed feelings about each potential wage in the context of a set of other wages. Researchers also analyzed data from 16,000 employees who reported on workplace satisfaction.

Employees did not care solely about their absolute level of pay. Workers were more concerned with their income relative to the salary levels around them in their workplace. Individuals were not just influenced by relative income but by the rank-ordered position of his or her wage within a comparison set.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Protecting the rights of the digital workforce in the 'gig' economy

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pigments, organelles persist in fossil feathers

August 27, 2015

A study provides multiple lines of new evidence that pigments and the microbodies that produce them can remain evident in a dinosaur fossil. In the journal Scientific Reports, an international team of paleontologists correlates ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.