Human Resource Management (Available Titles Coursemate)

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CURRENT ISSUES SERIES Pay-for-Knowledge Systems: Guidelines for Practice Anthony Celani Caroline L. Weber Queen’s University IRC Press Industrial Relations Centre Queen’s University Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Tel: (613) 533-6709 Fax: (613) 533-6812 E-mail: [email protected] Visit our Website at:
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ISBN: 0-88886-445-0 © 1997, Industrial Relations Centre Printed and bound in Canada Industrial Relations Centre Queen’s University Kingston, Ontario Canada K7L 3N6 Publications’ Orders: 613 545-6709 Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Beatty, Carol Anne, 1943– Employee ownership : how do you spell success? (Current issues series) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-88886-445-0 1. Employee ownership – Canada. 2. Management – Canada – Employee participation. I. Coates, Mary Lou. II. Series: Current issues series (Kingston, Ont.). HD5660.C2B42 338.6’0971 C97-930512-8
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Executive Summary In the era of the knowledge-based economy and continuous learning, pay-for-knowledge (PFK) compensation plans have received an ever increasing amount of attention from both practitioners and researchers. However, the implementation of a PFK compensation plan does not guarantee that plan's success within any given organization. This article defines the characteristics of PFK systems, identifies the critical success factors necessary to implement these plans, and discusses the available evidence on the advantages and disadvantages of these systems for com- panies and employees. • All PFK plans possess similar mechanics centred around the presence of skill blocks which are supported by the development of training programs, job rotation schedules, and skills assessments. • There also appear to be certain organizational factors mentioned in the literature that are consistent with the development of a PFK compensation plan, such as a more participative culture, more investment in human resources generally, and a demonstrated interest in and willingness to implement innovative compensation schemes. • As a result of the implementation of PFK plans, organizations might expect to reap the benefits of increased workforce flexibility, leaner staffing, higher quality output, increased long-term productivity, and decreased absenteeism and turnover rates. However, not all of these claimed advantages have been demonstrated by the research. • Organizations can also expect to endure the disadvantages of increased hourly labour, training, and administrative costs; employee dissatisfaction due to topping out and hold-ups; and an increasing potential for legal challenges with respect to pay equity legislation (Canada). • PFK is not suitable for all organizations; the available research literature helps us all to see this more clearly. Introduction / 1
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