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To Get Or Not To Get A Yearly Pay Increase – And Other Peculiarities In Performance-Based Pay Raise In Sweden

Conference contribution
Authors Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson
Bengt Larsson
Petra Adolfsson
Published in 14th Conference of the European Sociological Association, Manchester, United Kingdom, 20 – 23 August 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Business Administration
Department of Sociology and Work Science
Centre for Global Human Resource Management
Language en
Keywords performance-based pay individual wage setting
Subject categories Sociology


Most employees in Swedish organizations, public as well as private, are covered by collective agreement stressing individual and differentiated wages. Individually set wages are especially salient in the yearly salary review, and most organizations use some sort of performance appraisal system to evaluate employees’ contributions against the background of a number of performance appraisal criteria. The basic justificatory norm in performance-based pay is to reward those who have performed the best. That is, high scores or evaluation points would lead to a higher markup. However, analyses of 48 qualitative interviews from a multiple case-study conducted in four large organizations in Sweden, show that the link between performance and pay raise is not that straight forward and that there is a lot of peculiarities going on. This paper discusses how employees, managers, HR personnel and union representatives reason about pay raise. It describes and explains why a high performer may get zero Swedish krona in pay raise in order for a colleague to have a more substantial raise, and also how the amounts in the yearly pay raise relate to the wage-setting manager's control span and the regulations set out in the collective agreements and “the mark”.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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