Pay and Performance Management Systems

Project Director

Associate Professor Michelle Brown


Pay is central to the employment relationship and therefore a potentially powerful tool for affecting employee and organisational performance. Performance based pay adjustment systems rely on the effective systems for the measurement of employee performance. We currently have two projects investigating the implications of performance management systems for a range of employee and organisational outcomes.


The first project investigates the role of employee cynicism on a range of employee performance indicators. The team includes Associate Professor Maria Kraimer (formerly with the Department of Management and Marketing, now at the University of Iowa) and Assistant Professor Ginny Bratton (formerly with the Department of Management and Marketing, now at the University of Montana). We have collected data from matched pairs of employees and supervisors from a Melbourne based insurance company. We have also collected matched data from the school teachers and their principals.

The second project examines the feedback processes in performance appraisal, with a particular emphasis on negative feedback. The team includes Professor Carol Kulik (formerly with the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne and now with the University of South Australia) and a PhD student, Victoria Lim. We have collected data both qualitative and quantitative from managers on their strategies for providing negative feedback. We developed typologies of managerial strategies and surveyed employees to assess their reactions to these strategies.

Referred journal articles

Brown, M. & Heywood, J.S. (2009). Helpless in Finance: the cost of helping effort among bank employees. Journal of Labor Research, 30, 176-195.

Kavanagh, P., Benson, J. & Brown, M. (2007). Understanding performance appraisal fairness. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 45 (2), 132-150.

Book chapters

Brown, M and Lim, V.S. (2009). Understanding Performance Appraisal: Supervisory and Employee Perspectives in Wilkinson, A., Redman, T., Snell, S and Bacon, N. (eds) The Sage Handbook of Human Resource Management. London: Sage (pp 191-209).

Conference papers

Brown, M., Kraimer, M. & Bratton, V. (2009). Performance appraisal cynicism: causes and consequences. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ANZAM Conference. Monash University, Melbourne. December 2009. This paper won the Best Paper award in the HR stream at the conference.

Personnel Economics: where to from here? Symposium on Personnel Economics, 15th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association, Sydney August 24 28, 2009 (with Keith Whitfield, Andrew Pendleton and Russell Ross)