Managerial Pay Raise and Promotion Decisions for Workers with I-deals

Maria Tomprou, Maria Simosi, Denise Rousseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Managers use idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) to motivate and retain employees. Yet we know little about the subsequent effects i-deals have on decisions about pay raises and promotions. Two studies investigate how managers make pay raise and promotion decisions for workers with i-deals. Using a policy capturing design, managers (N=116) made pay raise and promotion allocations for workers presented as good performers, based on information provided regarding whether and what type of i-deal workers had and the extent to which they helped peers. Developmental i-deal recipients tend to be recommended for both pay raises and promotions, while such recommendations are less likely for employees with flextime i-deals (for promotions) or reduced workload i-deals (for promotions and pay raises). In addition, workers with i-deals who help their peers are viewed more favorably in both decisions. The second study, surveyed managers (N=174) regarding their actual subordinates (N = 806), both controlled for the manager’s rating of subordinate performance. It supports the positive effect of developmental i-deals on pay and promotion decisions, but not the negative effects of flextime and reduced workload i-deals. Helping effects depend on the i-deal: Managers report that unhelpful recipients of developmental i-deals are less likely to be promoted than those with such i-deals who do help; unhelpful recipients of reduced workload i-deals are less likely to get pay raises than those with such deals who help. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and career management.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
JournalGroup & organization management
Issue number1
Early online date5 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2022

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