Original Research

Confirming theoretical pay constructs of a variable pay scheme

Sibangilizwe Ncube, Mark H.R. Bussin, Lukas de Swardt
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 11, No 1 | a464 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.464 | © 2013 Sibangilizwe Ncube, Mark H.R. Bussin, Lukas de Swardt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2012 | Published: 22 May 2013

About the author(s)

Sibangilizwe Ncube, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Mark H.R. Bussin, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Lukas de Swardt, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Return on the investment in variable pay programmes remains controversial because their cost versus contribution cannot be empirically justified.

Research purpose: This study validates the findings of the model developed by De Swardt on the factors related to successful variable pay programmes.

Motivation for the study: Many organisations blindly implement variable pay programmes without any means to assess the impact these programmes have on the company’s performance. This study was necessary to validate the findings of an existing instrument that validates the contribution of variable pay schemes.

Research design, approach and method: The study was conducted using quantitative research. A total of 300 completed questionnaires from a non-purposive sample of 3000 participants in schemes across all South African industries were returned and analysed.

Main findings: Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, it was found that the validation instrument developed by De Swardt is still largely valid in evaluating variable pay schemes. The differences between the study and the model were reported.

Practical/managerial implications: The study confirmed the robustness of an existing model that enables practitioners to empirically validate the use of variable pay plans. This model assists in the design and implementation of variable pay programmes that meet critical success factors.

Contribution/value-add: The study contributed to the development of a measurement instrument that will assess whether a variable pay plan contributes to an organisation’s success.


Keywords

Return on investment, compensation, empirically validated instrument

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