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Transforming Incentives : Analysis of Personnel and Employee Output Data in a Large Japanese Auto Sales Firm

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  • Tsuru, Tsuyoshi
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the economic consequences of performance-oriented human resource (HR) system reform at Auto Japan (pseudonym), one of the largest Japanese auto sales firms, using personnel and employee output data. The author overviews the three major components of the HR reform: base wages, performance-based pay, and performance rating systems. Then the author examines the productivity effect of the reform. The performance-based pay system was changed from combining a base wage with a simple performance pay system to a scheme kinked around a draw line (representing aggregate base pay) to strengthen incentives. The introduction of the draw formula performance-based pay system raised the productivity of the new car sales staff, but generally failed to raise the productivity of the used car sales staff. The evidence suggests that while Auto Japan's performance-oriented HR system reform, which was typical of reforms instituted among major Japanese firms in the late 1990s, changed the wage structure and grading pattern of employees, it brought only slight improvement in individual productivity.

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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/16517/1/HJeco0490201090.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Hitotsubashi University in its journal Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 109-132

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    Handle: RePEc:hit:hitjec:v:49:y:2008:i:2:p:109-132

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    Related research

    Keywords: human resource management; personnel economics; automobile dealership; incentive; performance-based pay; performance rating;

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    1. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589826, April.
    2. Paarsch, H-J & Shearer, B, 1996. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects : Statistical Evidence From Payroll Records," Papers 9623, Laval - Recherche en Energie.
    3. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2006. "Incentives for Managers and Inequality Among Workers: Evidence from a Firm Level Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Harry J. Paarsch & Bruce S. Shearer, 1999. "The Response of Worker Effort to Piece Rates: Evidence from the British Columbia Tree-Planting Industry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 643-667.
    5. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    6. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589833, April.
    7. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589819, April.
    8. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    9. Orana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. Paul Oyer, 1998. "Fiscal Year Ends And Nonlinear Incentive Contracts: The Effect On Business Seasonality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 149-185, February.
    11. Amiya K. Basu & Rajiv Lal & V. Srinivasan & Richard Staelin, 1985. "Salesforce Compensation Plans: An Agency Theoretic Perspective," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 267-291.
    12. Beth J. Asch, 1990. "Do incentives matter? The case of Navy recruiters," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 89-106, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hideo Owan & Shingo Takahashi & Tsuyoshi Tsuru & Katsuhito Uehara, 2014. "Finding good managers: an econometric case study of a large Japanese auto dealership," Working Papers EMS_2014_08, Research Institute, International University of Japan.

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