Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas
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Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas

Adaptation and Context

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

Over time management ideas and panaceas have been presented alternately as quick fix cures for all corporate ills and the emperor’s new clothes, beset by flaws and problems. This Handbook provides a different approach, suggesting that management ideas and panaceas should not be either adopted or rejected outright, but gives guidance in the art of assessing and applying management ideas and panaceas to various situations and contexts.
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Chapter 5: Panacea or Pandora’s box? The role of fairness perceptions and interpersonal competitiveness in determining how pay secrecy affects individual task performance

Elena Belogolovsky and Peter A. Bamberger


Research consistently indicates that pay secrecy has a detrimental impact on individual task performance. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. In the current study we examine distributive fairness as a potential mediator, and interpersonal competitiveness as a potential moderator of this relationship. Using a simulation-based, experimental design and a sample of 53 students, we find that close to a fifth of this negative effect of pay secrecy on individual task performance may be explained in terms of how pay communication influences individuals’ distributive fairness perceptions. Additionally, we find that the indirect effects of pay communication on task performance are amplified as a function of interpersonal competitiveness, with the adverse effects of secrecy on distributive fairness perceptions being intensified among more interpersonally competitive individuals. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.

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