Activity report of visit to InGRID
research infrastructures
Please limit the report to max. 3-5 pages, including tables and
figures and use the following structure as much as possible.
Name and last name
Egidio Riva
Project title
Predictors of pay policies and practices in European companies
Abstract (max 300-500 words)
Drawing on the third wave of the European Company Survey (ECS), performed in 2013 on behalf
of Eurofound, and on the AIAS working conditions and industrial relations datasets (ICTWSS), I
developed, together with prof. Kea Tijdens, a research project meant to investigate:
a) The relationship between workplace labour relations and the adoption, at workplace level, of
variable payment options on top of basic pay, namely: a) Payment by results, for example piece
rates, provisions, brokerages or commissions; and b) Variable extra pay linked to the individual
performance following management appraisal
b) Whether industrial relations arrangements (i.e. trade union density, main bargaining level, and
bargaining coverage) and variables at the country level (i.e. labour productivity per hour worked and
per person employed) moderate that relationship.
Coherently with established literature, a broad range of workplace level variables (such as the
profile of the workforce, human resource management practices, and problems related to
personnel) was employed as controls.
Introduction and motivation of visit
The main goal of the research visit was to meet and build connections with fellow academics
interested in the study of industrial relations and working conditions, and exchange with them
ideas, information and research hypotheses.
Scientific objectives of visit
The research project is intended to contribute to literature and improve the understanding of the
predictors of variable pay policies and practices in European companies by discussing interactions
between national- and workplace-level variables, in a multilevel theoretical and methodological
Reasons for choosing research infrastructure and datasets/surveys/...
AIAS UVA is no doubt one of the most authoritative research centres in the field of industrial
relations and it offers a stimulating environment for hypotheses development and elaboration.
As regards the datasets employed:
The Eurofound ECS is a representative sample survey and results may be generalised to
establishments across 30 European countries;
The ICTWSS database, made available by prof. Visser at AIAS-UVA, is the main source of
information on industrial relations indicators for European countries.
Activities during your visit (research, training, events, ...)
During my stay I had 4 meetings with prof Kea Tijdens in order to: set up the theoretical
framework of the research project; choose the dependent variable, the main predictor, and control
variables to be employed in the analytical model; discuss preliminary results and further elaborate
on findings so as to submit a paper to a peer-reviewed journal.
I attended a few meetings, namely:
- A lunch seminar, in which prof. Wiemer Salverda (AIAS-UVA) presented his work on middle
classes in Europe and the Netherlands
- The AIAS Special Annual Conference on “Overcoming Inequality: What to do, Why and
How?” with Sir Anthony Atkinsons (Nuffield College Oxford, LSE)
- A seminar of the EDUWORKS FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network project.
I also presented my most recent work on flexible working arrangements in European companies
during a lunch seminar.
Finally I met other scholars and researchers working at AIAS-UVA and discussed with them some
hypotheses and guidelines for future research.
Method and set-up of research
Random intercept multi-level logistic regression models are employed to examine the relationship
between industrial relations at the establishment level and the adoption of payment by results and
variable pay related to individual performance.
Preliminary project results and conclusions
Preliminary results of analyses, displayed in Table 1 and Table 2 and concerning the fixed-effects
part of the model, show that there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between
industrial relations at workplace level and variable payment options on top of basic pay. “Industrial
relations at workplace level” variable was measured using the survey questions: 1) “Is there a formal
employee representation structure in the establishment (or company)?” and 2) “Are employees in
this establishment covered by a collective wage agreement negotiated at the establishment or
company level?” and then dummy coded (no=0 and yes=1).
We also controlled for the following variables:
Company/establishment characteristics:
- Is the establishment at this address a single independent company or organisation with no
further branch-offices, production units or sales units elsewhere? (no=0 and yes=1)
- Is your establishment part of a public sector organisation is either wholly owned by the public
authorities or they own more than 50%? (no=0 and yes=1)
- Approximately how many employees work in this establishment? (5 cat.: 10-19 employees; 2049 employees; 50-249 employees; 250-499 employees; 500 + employees)
- Industry (6 cat., based on Nace Rev 2)
Industrial relations settings:
- Are employees in this establishment covered by a collective wage agreement negotiated at the
sectoral or regional level? (no=0 and yes=1)
- Are employees in this establishment covered by a collective wage agreement negotiated for a
given occupation? (no=0 and yes=1)
- Are employees in this establishment covered by A national cross-sectoral collective wage
agreement? (no=0 and yes=1)
Employee characteristics
Could you please tell me for this establishment, the number or percentage of employees, who (5
cat.: 0-20%; 20-40%; 40-60%; 60-80%; 80-100%):
- ...have an open ended contract?
- ...are female?
- ... are older than 50 years of age?
- ... have a university degree?
- ... work part-time, that is less than the usual full-time arrangement?
- …have the possibility to adapt - within certain limits - the time when they begin or finish their
daily work according to their personal needs or wishes?
Problems related to personnel:
- Does the management encounter low motivation of employees? (no=0 and yes=1)
- Since the beginning of 2010, has the labour productivity of this establishment: (5 cat. increased,
remained about the same, decreased)
Payment by results, for example piece rates, provisions, brokerages or commissions
Variable extra pay linked to the individual performance following management appraisal
In the next set of regression models we will include selected country-level variables, while
controlling for all workplace-level variables, and we will also test the impact of combinations of
organizational and national level variables.