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Valuing work in wage policies and criteria.

Conference contribution
Authors Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson
Bengt Larsson
Petra Adolfsson
Published in 36th International Labour Process Conference, 21-23 March, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Centre for Global Human Resource Management
Language en
Subject categories Sociology


Performance based pay, under the label “individual and differentiated wage setting”, is increasing in Swedish organizations and companies - not least due to changes in the wage formation process and collective agreements. Wage criteria are commonly used for evaluations and valuations of employees’ performances, and are stressed as prerequisites for objective, transparent and salient assessments of employee contributions at work. Also, the idea is that wage criteria ought to mirror the more general wage policy and be aligned with the organizations overall goals and values. Thus, the wage policy and salary criteria are tools for communicating, and governing, what practices and behaviors that are valued in the organization. It is in this way, performance based and individual differentiated pay is assumed to have motivational and performance enhancing effects among the employees. The aim of this paper is to explore how wage policies and wage criteria express what in work that is valued and how. Through a qualitative document analysis this paper study how four organizations, from both the public and private sector, express value in performance and behaviour The analysis is illustrated with quotes from actors working in the selected organizations. Preliminary results show that e.g. “professionalism” is a common criteria - yet defined and operationalized differently within the various organizations. Theoretically, the paper draw on concepts developed within “Valuation studies”, such as Orders of Worth. An important aspect of the valuations is the presence and use of numbers in evaluations and valuations in order to “anchor” the assessment and in that way signal its objectivity.

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