The International Compensation and Pay Transparency Study

Executive Summary

Growing concerns about societal income inequality and about persistent pay gaps between men and women are leading governments and work organizations around the world to turn their attention to workplace compensation practices and how organizations communicate about pay. With our study we are able to contribute in a unique and timely way to this conversation.

In order to collect data on this matter, the research team partnered with HR Associations in different countries (e.g., HR Swiss in Switzerland, CIPD in the United Kingdom, APG in Portugal, DGFP in Germany, HR Centar in Croatia or PERYÖN in Turkey). Study participants (mostly senior HR managers) provide insights about their companies actual pay practices (e.g. use of individual variable pay) and also about pay transparency practices. Thereby we distinguish between three different aspects of pay transparency: pay process transparency (the extent to which an organization voluntarily discloses how pay is determined), pay outcome transparency (extent to which an organization voluntarily discloses information about actual, individual pay levels to its employees) and pay communication transparency (the extent to which employees are free to discuss pay-related information with other employees inside the organization). In our surveys, we also collected data on several other variables important to organizations, including financial performance, employee turnover, and social capital. In addition, we asked respondents about the effectiveness of their pay systems and whether they have conducted an equal pay analysis. Study results provide valuable insights for companies and advances pay transparency research.

Country Report for Switzerland / Executive Summary (German)

Country Report for the United Kingdom

International Study Report

YouTube Video with Alexandra Arnold, Anna Sender and Patrick Mollet.

Center for Human Resource Management (CEHRM), University of Lucerne, Switzerland:
Dr. Alexandra Arnold, Dr. Anna Sender, Prof. Bruno Staffelbach

Center for Workplace Excellence (CWeX), University of South Australia Business School, Australia:
Prof. Ingrid S. Fulmer

Neeley, School of Business, Texas Christian University, U.S.:
Prof. David G. Allen

Global Policy Institute, London, UK:
Prof. Stephen J. Perkins


Dr. Alexandra Arnold