Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson
Dr. Heather M. McGee
Dr. Bradley E. Huitema
Dr. Kevin Munson
Incentives, organizational behavior management, goal setting, pay systems. performance
This study examined the relative effects of three incentive pay systems, piece-rate pay, threshold piece-rate pay, and bonus pay, on performance when individuals were given the same five-tiered performance goals. A fourth system, wage pay, served as a control. The task was a computerized simulation of a medical data entry job and the primary dependent variable was the number of correctly completed patient records. Sixty-six college students were randomly assigned to one of the four pay conditions, and attended one 60-minute covariate session and five 60-minute experimental sessions. Participants in the wage pay condition earned $6.50 per session; those in the three incentive pay conditions earned a base rate of $4.50 per session, and were able to earn up to $3.00 in incentive pay. An analysis of covariance showed no significant differences in performance among any of the four pay groups, or across time. Such findings indicate that organizations may be able to produce gains in performance similar to those found with incentive pay, through the use of tiered goals and feedback. These findings contradict past data that show that performance contingent monetary incentives produce gains in performance above what is seen with wage pay alone. The findings also support a limited body of research that suggests the effects of incentive pay systems may be strongly influenced by performance goals. Analysis of additional variables, further implications, and future directions for research are discussed in detail.
Sundberg, Daniel B., "The Effects of Incentive Pay Systems with Tiered Goals on Performance" (2015). Dissertations. 542.