Research in Progress

Pay Dispersion and Individual Performance in Teams (with Fırat İnceoğlu)

Compensation policy experts generally agree that pay structure and more specifically pay distribution decisions are important for organizational success since they believe that individuals care a great deal more about their relative economic position than about their absolute economic position (Clark & Oswald, 1996).   However, these same experts tend to disagree on how to distribute pay across individuals. Traditionally two theoretical models, tournament and teamwork, guided their decisions and captured the attention of researchers. According to the tournament model, high pay differentials, which are indicative of differences in past performance, human capital and work responsibility, are considered to have positive consequences for both individual and group performance (Lazear & Rosen, 1981).  On the other hand, the opposing model, referred to as the teamwork model or ?pay compression hypothesis,? suggests a compressed pay distribution with minimal pay differentials between individuals in different pay levels, positions or with different performance levels (Akerloff & Yellen, 1990; Levine, 1991; Martin, 1981; Milgrom & Roberts, 1990).   Empirical studies testing the validity of these theoretical models provide mixed or null results (see, Gerhart & Rynes, 2003).

In an attempt to reconcile the theoretical and empirical literature we argue that when high pay dispersion is based on, or congruent with a legitimate and stable status hierarchy, it would not affect members? performance negatively, and in fact, it may have positive effects. When a few members of the team (i.e., a nucleus) have clearly higher global status relative to other members (i.e., surrounding cast), teams might benefit from clear distribution of roles and smoother interactions between members. However, if high pay dispersion exists when there are more than a few members with similar social status, a legitimate status hierarchy might not yet be established, presumably leading members to fight for status or to withdraw from the team, conditions detrimental for performance.   We test our arguments using archival data on National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and their players from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010 season. We have chosen to study professional basketball teams as they epitomize reciprocal interdependence (Keidel, 1984) but also characterize a setting where individual talent, a status characteristic, plays a very important role in personnel decisions (e.g., Staw & Hoang, 1995).

We recently presented a paper based on this research in the latest Academy of Management conference.

Bayazit, M. & Inceoglu, F.  Pay dispersion and member performance in interdependent groups: The role of status hierarchy.  Academy of Management Conference. San Antonio, August 16th, 2011.


Goal-related Psychological Empowerment and Goal Commitment: A Field Study (with Eda Aksoy)

Psychological empowerment is considered to be an indicator of autonomous motivation in organizational life.  Psychologically empowered employees are more likely to internalize organizational objectives and to feel competent and in control in their jobs.  In this study we set out to understand various psychosocial factors that increase employee empowerment as well as understand how it relates to employees’ goal commitment in an actual management by objectives program in a field setting.   We have collected data from 248 mid level managers from 36 different departments in 6 different companies of one large holding company which implemented a management by objectives program using a balanced scorecard approach (customer goals, process goals, finance goals).     We hypothesized and tested five psychosocial predictors including; trust in top management, transformational leadership, procedural justice, and informational justice and social influence, as well as goal specificity and achievement striving.   In addition, we examined the relationship between empowerment and goal commitment and hypothesized a three way interaction of empowerment with goal difficulty and achievement striving.   We argue that empowerment is more likely to be related to goal commitment when there is a match between the difficulty of the goal and the achievement temperament of the employee (easy goals and low achievement striving or difficult goals and high achievement striving).

We have presented a paper based on this research in the 13th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology.

Aksoy, E. & Bayazit, M. Investigating the antecedents of goal commitment: Goal-related psychological empowerment as a mediatory process. Paper presented at the 13th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2007.

Wellbeing at the Individual and Organizational Levels: A Multilevel Test of Siegrist?s Effort-Reward Imbalance Model of Job Stress and Health (with Tove H. Hammer and Per Øystein Saksvik)

We tested a multilevel expansion of Siegrist?s (1996, 2000) effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model of job stress, health, and absenteeism in 49 manufacturing firms using organizational norms at the organizational level and work-to-family conflict and overcommitment to work at the individual level.   Results of a multilevel mediation model showed that ERI acts as a mediator at both levels of analysis; between organizational norms and job stress, and between the effects of overcommitment on work-to-family conflict, job stress, subjective health, and illness related absenteeism.

We recently presented a paper based on this research in the latest Academy of Management conference.

Hammer, T., H., Bayazit, M. & Saksvik, P., O. A Multilevel Empirical Expansion of Siegrist?s ERI Model of Job Stress and Health.  Academy of Management Conference. August 16th, 2011.

Prone to bias: Core self-evaluations and the manifestation of positive illusions (with Shaul Oreg, and Yasemin Kisbu)

Numerous studies have established the existence of self-enhancement biases. Far less research, however, has been designed with the goal of explaining individual differences in these biases, with little integration across the sporadic studies that have been conducted. In the present set of studies we employ the construct of core self-evaluations to explain differences in the degree to which individuals self enhance versus depreciate. The relationship between core self-evaluations and what have been termed verification biases (Oreg and Bayazit, 2009) is examined in three studies. Specifically we demonstrate positive relationships between core self-evaluations and the better-than-average effect (Study 1), overconfidence and self-serving attributions (Study 2), and illusions of control (Study 3).

We presented a paper based on this research in the 26th International Congress of the International Association of Applied Psychology.

Kisbu, Y. & Bayazit, M. Are some drivers more prone to be biased? Influences of personality and age in biases in perception and choice.  Poster presented at the 26th International Congress of the International Association of Applied Psychology.  Athens, Greece, July, 2006.

The interplay between work-life balance policies, idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) and family supported organizational norms: How Turkish employees manage work-family conflict?  (with Zeynep Erden Bayazıt)

Organizations increasingly employ formal policies to support their employees’ attempts to balance their work and life.  However, employees, especially in particularistic cultures such as Turkey, may have to negotiate idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) with their managers regardless of the existence of formal policies.   This study examines the relationship of these two work-family balance support mechanisms, work-life policies and idiosyncratic deals (i-deals), with employees? work-family conflicts (WFC) in Turkey. We propose a) employees? WFC will be negatively related to both the availability of work-life balance policies and success in negotiating i-deals and b) workplace family supportive norms will moderate these relationships, such that for employees from workplaces where attempts to balance work and life are not accepted, these relationships will be stronger.  Data are being collected from Executive MBA students.

We presented a paper based on the preliminary findings of this research in the 12th Bi-Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Work and Organizational Values (ISSWOV).

Erden Bayazit, Z. & Bayazit M.  Utilizing Work-Life Balance Policies vs. Negotiating Idiosyncratic Deals: How Turkish Employees Manage Work-Family Conflict? Paper presented at the 12th Bi-Annual Conference of the International Society for the Study of Work and Organizational Values (ISSWOV). Lisbon, Portugal, June, 2010.