Cornell University’s survey of U.S. organizations in 2016 showed that the compensations of agreeable employees were 18% lower than those of the " spontaneous” ones. The research that employee personality traits influence their salary levels is merely in Europe and the United States currently and directs to European and American organizations and cultural contexts. In the existing studies, on the one hand, the measurement of pay is economic pay and there are no total rewards to research; on the other hand, how the conclusion drawn from the Western culture and the organizational context adapts to the Chinese culture and organizations, and what is the relationship between employee’s agreeableness and salary levels in the context of the Chinese culture and organizations, domestic and foreign scholars are still relatively lacking in research. Therefore, different from the Western culture, whether the findings of Cornell University are consistent with the organizational context of traditional Chinese culture and can confirm the Chinese saying " the honest people suffer more, the squeaking wheel gets the oil” is a scientific question worth exploring. Based on the existing research, combining the Chinese culture and the organizational context, the paper combs the scientific connotation of agreeableness and total rewards, establishes a theoretical model of the relationship between them, and uses the NEO-PIR scale and the U.S. compensation association for comprehensive compensation. The questionnaire is designed by using the NEO-PIR scale and the total rewards defined by the WorldatWork. The questionnaire survey is conducted on a sample of 1, 486 employees in state-owned enterprises and private-owned enterprises in China. On the basis of reliability and validity analyses, the data are statistically analyzed by using correlation and multiple regression analyses. The analysis results show that agreeableness will reduce the overall salary level of employees. But different from Western context of organizations, the employee agreeableness and total rewards are not completely negatively correlated in Chinese organizational context, while the agreeableness is negatively related to monetary payoff and has no correlation with benefits. Furthermore, agreeableness is negatively related to learning and development, and positively related to the work environment. Modesty, altruism and tender mindedness are the important factors that affect monetary payoff, and compliance, straight forwardness and altruism are critical variables that affect non-monetary compensation. Based on the above conclusions, the article proposes management practice implications from two aspects of employees and organizations: employees need to make good use of " expectation management” and clearly define their core competencies and capability boundaries to break through the adverse effects of agreeableness on their total rewards; organizations should combine" humanization” and " dehumanization” to rationally and comprehensively measure the abilities and performance of agreeable employees, and effectively exert the cultural essence of Chinese " harmony” to integrate the values and create a harmonious working environment, effectively exerting the advantages of different personality traits of staff to truly " let Lei Feng not lose out”.
Does the Agreeableness of Employees Reduce the Overall Salary Level? An Empirical Research in the Context of the Chinese Culture and Organizations
Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Vol. 20, Issue 04, pp. 63 - 77 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jsufe.2018.04.005
Cite this article
Tan Chunping, Jing Ying, Wang Ye. Does the Agreeableness of Employees Reduce the Overall Salary Level? An Empirical Research in the Context of the Chinese Culture and Organizations[J]. Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 2018, 20(4): 63-77.