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(Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops

Fernie, Sue and Metcalf, David (1998) (Not)hanging on the telephone: payment systems in the new sweatshops. CEPDP, 390. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753012170

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Abstract

'The ultimate objective of empirical work on incentives should be to find out why firms use the compensation systems they doàhuge advances in our understanding could be made by a concerted effort to collect data on contracts.'' So concludes the 1998 Journal of Economic Literature survey on compensation systems. This paper does just that. It presents very detailed case study evidence on contracts in four organizations, three of which are call centres, the fastest growing sector of employment in the UK. This evidence is used to test predictions from the New Economics of Personnel (NEP) concerning the incidence of payment systems. We also contrast and test predictions from NEP with those of the earlier British Institutional School, which anticipated many of NEP''s ideas on payment systems. Variations in the ratio of performance-related to basic pay among our organizations can, broadly, be explained by the costs and benefits of monitoring inputs and measuring output, which comprises the core of NEP. Indeed, the monitoring of our case study employees is the theme which binds the paper together û for call centres Jeremy Bentham''s 1791 Panopticon was truly the vision of the future.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 1998 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Research centres and groups > Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour Group
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 390
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2008 14:38
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/20275/

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