Influence of Employee Voice on Pay Determination

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Marsden(2007,p1) makes use of the concept of a ‘zone of acceptance’ as the core of his article ,in which, to put it in a nutshell, he suggests that employers need to periodically revise the roles and preferences of themselves and of employees as a necessary prerequisite for the process of adaptation through integrative bargaining, which deals with reaching in agreements to increase the size of the pie. The article discusses the ways in which collective employee voice can enable individual level integrative negotiations in the jurisdiction of non-codified elements of employment conditions that he calls ‘psychological contracts’, quoting Denise Rousseau(1995). The ‘zone of acceptance’ decides the range of tasks that employees are prepared to perform and their time periods. However, to keep up with changing production and market requirements, organizations need to revise the boundaries of this zone periodically, with employee consent, if the organization has to survive. This is accomplished by communication with the employees and revising their beliefs and expectations contained in the ‘psychological contract’. The relationship of employment contains both psychological and economic constituents. According to the mutual interests of the parties involved, its contractual form is chosen from among a range of alternative ways of organizing transactions. Its economic basis defines the individual voice as well as collective employee voice which form the basis for renegotiating and inducing changes in the boundaries of the ‘zone of acceptance’. Marsden(2007,p1) cites Ram et al(2001) to suggest that a negotiated order of varying degrees governs the workplace. Performance management in the British public sector and private sector organisations combines employee goal-setting and appraisal to performance related determination of pay. Marsden (2007) seeks to extend the range of voice mechanisms employers choose and tries to find out the reasons as to why employers choose a particular voice mechanism over others byanalyzing the individual-level renegotiation of the zone of acceptance as a form of integrative bargaining, whose quality decides its outcome.