Pay Communication: Expanding Conceptualizations and Evidence

Alexandra Arnold, Ingrid Fulmer, Junting Li, Jason D. Shaw, Paul Bliese, Michelle Brown, Tae-youn Park, Anna Sender, John Shields, Ilanit Siman Tov-nachlieli, Aino Tenhiälä

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Organizations’ communications about their compensation systems help ensure those systems are administered efficiently; they also shape employees’ judgments and perceptions about their compensation and the organization. Research on pay communication, and in particular on pay transparency and secrecy, is currently enjoying an expansion, in part because of the view among many in the wider public, the news media, and regulators in many countries that more pay transparency is better, as transparency may inform solutions to problems such as income inequality and the gender pay gap. But what do we really know about how employees perceive and respond to transparency policies? This symposium showcases promising new research that speaks to this question. Collectively, the papers in this symposium (1) examine a variety of outcomes (pay satisfaction, counterproductive work behavior, employee pay information sharing, and competitive team climate), (2) explore contingencies under which pay transparency has more positive versus more negative effects, (3) provide insight on several individual differences affecting reactions to transparency, and (4) offer an impressive array of research designs and evidence, combining field studies and experiments, that examines phenomena at both the individual and team levels. In bringing these studies and scholars together, we hope to contribute to community building, continue to foster the dialog among researchers and practitioners attending the session, and contribute both theoretically and practically to the advancement of compensation research.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12829
JournalAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


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