Archives for October 2005

Incentive Pay, Teams and Earnings: Evidence from Toronto Firms

The use of ‘high-performance’ workplace practices and incentive pay plans have received considerable attention from researchers. Little is known, however, about human resource practices in non-manufacturing and non-case study settings. Moreover, for incentive pay, few studies have actually observed compensation contracts. This paper examines the relationship between several workplace practices and earnings using unique employee-employer linked personnel data where the explicit nature of compensation contracts is observed.

Executive Summary

The use of ‘high-performance’ workplace practices and incentive pay plans have received considerable attention from researchers. However, little is known about human resource practices in non-manufacturing and non-case study settings. Moreover, for incentive pay, few studies have actually observed compensation contracts. This paper examines the relationship between several workplace practices and earnings using unique employee-employer linked personnel data where the explicit nature of compensation contracts is observed. The data covers 415 establishments from the Greater Toronto Area and is quite representative along several dimensions including industry, total revenues, and employee size. A key advantage of the data is that information on human resource management (HRM) practices is available at seven different levels of the firm hierarchy including: top executives, lower executives, middle management/supervisory professionals, information technology managers, non-management/non-supervisory professionals, IT staff, and clerical/support staff. The focus of the paper is on the interaction between teams and team/group-based incentive pay plans. In particular, I test whether teams are more effective — via employees earning higher salaries — when backed up with incentive pay that uses group or team based performance measures. The key findings are as follows: 1) when within-firm variation in HRM practices is used for identification, employees who work in teams earn a substantial premium, which increases further when a group/team-based incentive pay plan is applied; and 2) most cross-sectional earnings premiums associated with high-performance workplace practices (including annual bonus plans) disappear when within-firm variation is used for identification.

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High Performance Teams in Primary Care: The Basis of Interdisciplinary Collaborative Care

One of the fundamental challenges of Primary Health Care Reform is the establishment of collaborative health care teams to meet the needs of patients and society in a timely and effective manner. The characteristics of effective primary care team function have not been well studied. Millward and Ramsay (1998) used the Cognitive Motivational Model to develop a survey tool, first used in industry and subsequently in the health care field in Britain, to examine the characteristics of effective teams. In this study we investigated whether the Team Survey developed by Millward and Jeffries (2001) for the National Health Service in Britain was valid and reliable for use in predicting primary care team effectiveness in the Canadian health care context.

Executive Summary

One of the fundamental challenges of Primary Health Care Reform is the establishment of collaborative health care teams to meet the needs of patients and society in a timely and effective manner. The characteristics of effective primary care team function have not been well studied. (San Martin-Rodriguez et al., 2005)

Millward and Ramsay (1998) used the Cognitive Motivational Model to develop a survey tool, first used in industry and subsequently in the health care field in Britain to examine the characteristics of effective teams. (Millward and Jeffries, 2001) The Team Survey® was found to have acceptable psychometric properties in the National Health Service population. In this study we investigated whether the Team Survey® developed by Millward and Jeffries (2001) for the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain was valid and reliable for use in predicting primary care team effectiveness in the Canadian Health Care context.

The Queen’s University Department of Family Medicine consists of six practice teams, each with two to three physicians, one registered nurse (RN) or registered practical nurse (RPN) and a shared receptionist. Six secretaries, a Nurse Practitioner, two float RPNs, a nutritionist, two social workers, two liaison psychiatrists, a switchboard operator and six administrative staff support the practice teams. There is also a research team giving a total of 50 participants excluding learners.

All teams were invited to attend a focus group with their team or teams to complete the Team Survey® and an evaluation of the teams effectiveness. A focus group discussion was held to assess the validity of the tool and to address other issues relating to their team work. In this paper we report the analysis of the survey tool.

Sixty-one responses were included. Factor and multiple regression analyses revealed four factors with acceptable reliability, content and construct validity, three of which predicted team effectiveness: Metacognition of team goals and performance, (ß=0.47, p<.001), Team identification and communication (ß=0.42, p<.001) and Team potency (ß=0.40, p<.001).

The tool shows promise as a measure of characteristics that predict team effectiveness in this setting. The sample size was not large enough to determine a stable factor structure and the outcome measure used was subjective. The Team Survey® tool requires further testing with primary care teams in other settings and with virtual teams and with other outcome measures to determine its generalizability. If the factors identified in this study continue to predict team effectiveness, then interventions could be directed at improving team metacognition, communication and motivation with the expectation that these are not task or context specific.

Download PDF: High Performance Teams in Primary Care: The Basis of Interdisciplinary Collaborative Care

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