A study of motivational implications of introducing performance-related pay in the Hong Kong civil service

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A study of motivational implications of introducing performance-related pay in the Hong Kong civil service


Author: Kwok, Sau-fan Connie
Title: A study of motivational implications of introducing performance-related pay in the Hong Kong civil service
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2001
Subject: Civil service -- Salaries, etc. -- China -- Hong Kong
Civil service -- China -- Hong Kong -- Personnel management
Merit pay -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: viii, 179 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1563095
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1605
Abstract: Performance-related pay is a reward system in which salary increments, bonuses and similar incentives are awarded on the basis of an employee's performance. It was firstly used by private sector and has been widely adopted by the public sectors. While it is generally believed that staff will perform better if rewards are more closely attached to their performance, the effectiveness of performance-related pay remains controversial. In Hong Kong, public bodies have adopted performance-related pay. The Hong Kong Government in its Civil Service into the 21st Century consultation document proposed to introduce progressively performance-related pay into the civil service. This dissertation aims at exploring the motivational implications of introducing performance-related pay in the civil service and identifying requisite elements for implementing this reward system. This study uses two research instruments to gain the necessary information and data. First, interviews are conducted on several government officials to acquire their general views on the concept of performance-related pay. Then, a survey is carried out on the front-line, supervisory and managerial grade staff of a trading fund department to understand their perception of performance-related pay. Considering that performance-related pay is an organizational intervention that involves objective setting, monetary incentives and performance measurement, investigation is made in the light of expectancy theory, goal setting theory and equity theory. In summary, both the qualitative and quantitative data suggests that there is a general agreement among civil servants that the idea of performance-related pay is good in principle. They, however, cast doubts on the practicability of the performance-related pay in particular on the fairness in allocating the rewards. For those essential elements supporting the implementation of the performance-related pay scheme such as a clear link between performance and effort, objective setting, etc., the results reveal that most of the elements do not exist in the civil service. In fact, the existing practices and traditions prevailing in the civil service do not favour the implementation of such reward scheme. The culture and the institutional structure of the civil service serve as two major constraints. To implement any performance-related pay in the civil service, structural changes to the present administrative system is one of the way out.

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