Strategic reward systems: A contingency model of pay system design

Brian K. Boyd, Alain Salamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


A limited number of studies have addressed the idea of 'strategic ' reward systems-the matching of compensation systems to a firm's strategy. Prior research on this topic has been confined to U.S. firms, however, and a number of key questions remain unanswered. Using a sample of 917 employees from two large Swiss financial institutions, we found that pay systems are linked with divisional strategic orientation, but in a different form than prior studies. Additionally, we identify hierarchical position as an important variable in the tailoring of reward systems. Hierarchy has a significant main effect on pay plan design, and an interactive effect with strategic orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-792
Number of pages16
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Compensation
  • Contingency theory
  • International
  • Managerial discretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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