Behavioural perspective for a change agenda for executive rewards

Authored by: Almuth McDowall , Zara Whysall

The Routledge Companion to Reward Management

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138294264
eBook ISBN: 9781315231709
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter responds to the continued call for an increasingly individual-behavioural and psychological perspective to further understanding of the drivers and consequences of executive reward (Pepper 2015) to complement dominant financial and market-focused perspectives. We explore the growth trends in executive reward size and constitution through triangulated data from research, drawing on a practitioner survey (52 senior practitioners) and an in-depth workshop including focus groups (14 senior practitioners), interpreted through the lens of extended behavioural agency theory (elaborating upon a CIPD report by McDowall et al. (2015)). The data speak to a distinct gap between the evidence base for reward–performance associations and the behaviours needed in order to sustain Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which should be focused on a wider stakeholder-based, rather than a limited shareholder-based perspective. Reviewing a range of cross-disciplinary literature, we build on Pepper’s (2015) suggestions for a change agenda to draw out the implications for future research, theory and practice.

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