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Title: Analyzing change in the institution of pay setting
Author: Shimron, Nirit
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines change in the organizational-level institution of pay setting in crossnational and cross-sectoral diverse contexts. The purpose of the research is twofold. The first is to understand the actors' perceptions of change in the institution of pay setting. The second is to identify the actual institutional change undertaken and to analyze three key 'episodes' on the path of institutional change: the pressures for change, the organizationallevel translation of these pressures, and the nature of the implemented institutional change. To analyze the actors' perceptions of institutional change a research-specific actor-centred lens that draws on rational choice, cultural/sociological and historical institutionalism was formulated, which served to supplement the employment relations literature that informed the understanding of the institution of pay setting. This lens recognizes that actors are driven by rational and normative considerations, as well as by organizational legacies and the embedding institutional context in which they operate. To investigate the extent to which the organizational-level institution of pay setting changed, or remained stable, a specific framework was devised to illuminate key features of the institution. And to examine the key episodes en-route to institutional change, theories of change proposed by interdisciplinary institutionalist scholars were adopted and tailored to the theoretical and methodological considerations of the research undertaken. The analysis is based on qualitative data collected from actors on either side of the employment relationship in case-studies selected from the British, German and Norwegian banking, metalworking and public hospital sectors. The selection of countries and sectors was motivated by extending cross-national and cross-sectoral institutional diversity. The selection of organizations was driven by the potential insights each case-study can shed on organizational-level change in the institution of pay setting. Three conclusions emerged from this research. Firstly, the data reveal that underlying the actors' acceptance of, or resistance to, institutional change were rational and normative considerations, as well as the actors' previous experiences. Secondly, the findings suggest that to comprehend the manner in which pressures for change were translated at the organizational-level the actors' embedding context needs to be taken into account. Thirdly, the findings bring to light that the organizational-level institution of pay setting does not exist in either a state of inertia or upheaval. Rather, institutional change is much more nuanced. On the one hand, the finding that actors used established institutions to convey institutional change meant that change was often constituted by considerable continuation with the past. On the other hand, the finding that actors responded to the pressures for change by increasing, or decreasing, pay and applying the institution of pay setting towards new goals, brought to light that institutional change can occur under the guise of (considerable) institutional stability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available