The effects of pay systems on blue-collar employees' emotional distress: The mediating effects of objective and subjective work monotony

Arie Shirom*, Mina Westman, Samuel Melamed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We hypothesized that employees' emotional distress would be affected by the degree to which their payment was contingent upon individual performance. Respondents were 2747 blue-collar employees in 21 factories in Israel. They completed questionnaires on company time. We found that, in comparison with those who were paid only according to time worked, being on a performance-contingent pay system was associated with higher levels of depression and somatic complaints, but not of anxiety. As expected, these effects were partially mediated by the extent to which the respondents' work was monotonous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1097
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Relations
Volume52
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1999

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Monotony
  • Pay systems
  • Piece rate
  • Somatic complaints

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