Merit pay: the Federal Government's pay-for-performance experience.
Holliman, Sherry Diane.
Creighton, John Wallis
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For many years, businesses in private industry have been utilizing and experimenting with various forms of performance-based pay. These innovations have been part of a continuing search by organizations for better approaches to administering pay. With the passing of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Federal Government began its form of this concept entitled, 'Merit Pay'. Although many studies have examined uses in the areas of pay and total compensation, and even in the narrower area of performance-based pay, these studies have focused primarily on the private sector. This is not surprising since 'merit pay' has only been in widespread use in the Federal sector for the past two years. However, even in its infancy, there are indications that the pay for performance concept in the Federal Government has not lived up to its expectations. This thesis examines the Federal Government's experience with pay- for-performance, discusses the probable effectiveness of 'merit pay' as it now stands, and recommends specific actions for more effective performance-based pay management in the public sector.
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