Numerous studies have attempted to find a clear link between pay practices and performance, but have largely failed. In Good to Great, Jim Collins said his team 'found no systematic pattern linking executive compensation to the process of going from good to great.'

许多研究都试图找到薪酬措施与绩效之间的明确联系,但多数都以失败告终。在《从优秀到卓越》(Good to Great)中,吉姆•科林斯(Jim Collins)称,他的研究小组“发现管理层薪酬与企业从优秀走向卓越的过程没有系统性联系。”

There was no indication, for instance, that bonuses or stock options were more widely used by the good-to-great companies. Moreover, Collins found that the executives who lead the good-to-great transition actually received slightly less total cash compensation than their counterparts at comparison companies.


Pfeffer and Sutton come to a similar conclusion about most efforts to boost performance by creating pay incentives:


' There is, in fact, little evidence that equity incentives of any kind, including stock options, enhance organizational performance. One review of more than 220 studies concluded that equity ownership had no consistent effect on financial performance. Another massive study and review of research on executive compensation published by the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that most schemes designed to align managerial and shareholder interests failed to do so.'

“实际上,几乎没有证据表明任何种类的股权激励──包括股票期权──能够提高组织绩效。一篇对220多项研究的文献综述得出结论,股权对财务绩效没有一致性影响。”另一篇由美国国家经济研究局(National Bureau of Economic Research)发表的关于管理层薪酬研究的大型研究与文献综述称,多数旨在协调管理层利益与股东利益的薪酬方案都失败了。”

It's not that people don't respond to financial incentives. They clearly do. When you pay salespeople commissions based on their sales, for instance, they will always sell more than when you simply pay them a flat salary. The same goes for an individual crafts person who gets paid on a per piece basis.

这并不是说人们对财务激励无动于衷。他们显然会对财务激励做出反应。例如,当你根据销售人员的销售额向他们支付提成时,他们的销售额总是比你只付给他们固 定工资时多。同样的道理也适用于按件计酬的单个手工业者。

The Journal's Jon Auerbach captured the kind of supercharged environment that pay incentives can create in a profile of a salesman for EMC Corp. named John Chatwin in 1998. At the time, the company paid salespeople about 65% of their total pay in commissions, and put no cap on the commissions they could earn.

《华尔街日报》记者奥尔巴克(Jon Auerbach)在一篇报道中通过1998年易安信公司(EMC Corp)中一位叫查特温(John Chatwin)的推销员的经历,揭示了薪酬激励可能带来的激励环境。当时,易安信公司对销售人员支付的薪酬总额中,约65%是提成,而且对销售人员能拿 到的提成不设上限。

The story begins with Chatwin, an ex college hockey player, fearing he won't make his sales target for the quarter. To ensure that doesn't happen, he shifts into overdrive, calling clients while ferrying relatives to his son's christening, and breaking away from a family barbecue to contact a customer about a deal. 'I may not be brilliant,' Chatwin told Auerbach, 'but I'm hungry, I'm scrappy.'

这个故事就从曾是大学曲棍球队队员的查特温说起,他总担心自己达不到当季的销售目标。为了确保不发生这种情况,他开始拼命工作,在接亲戚参加他儿子的受洗 仪式时还在给客户打电话,还在一次家庭烤肉聚餐时中途离开去和客户谈生意。“我可能并不聪明”,查特温告诉奥尔巴克,“但是我心怀渴望,我斗志旺盛。”

The problem, however, is that most jobs today aren't like Chatwin's, where performance depends largely on individual effort and can be easily measured. Today's jobs generally involve team work. Success is less due to an individual's effort, and measurement of individual effort becomes more complex, if not impossible. In these situations, pay for performance can often seem unfair and arbitrary, and the result can demotivate, rather than motivate, employees. Resentment can fester, and significant time and energy can be wasted by people trying to get personal credit rather than working for team success.

但问题是,如今的多数工作都和查特温的工作不同,他的工作业绩主要取决于个人努力,衡量起来也很容易。而如今的工作通常需要团队合作。成功对个人努力的依 赖降低了,而衡量个人努力即使有可能,也变得更加复杂。在这种情况下,根据业绩支付薪酬经常显得不公平而随意,结果反而会打消员工的积极性,而不是激励他 们。负面情绪可能会恶化,员工会追求个人业绩而不是团队成功,从而浪费大把时间和精力。

The bottom line is this: Incentive pay is an effective tool in situations where performance can be fairly measured and where it is based largely on individual effort. But it is less effective in situations - common in today's workplace - where the measurements are highly subjective and the work is done by teams.