Profit Sharing and the Quality of Relations with the Boss
John S Heywood
Profit sharing generates conflicting changes in the relationship between supervisors and workers. It may increase cooperation and helping effort. At the same time it can increase direct monitoring and pressure by the supervisor, and mutual monitoring and peer pressure from other workers that is transmitted through the supervisor. Using data on satisfaction with the boss, we initially show that workers under profit sharing tend to have lower satisfaction with their supervisor. Additional estimates show this is largely generated by groups of workers who would be least likely to respond to increased supervisory pressure with increase effort: women, those with dependents and those with health limitations. Despite this finding, profit sharing seems to have little or no influence on overall job satisfaction as the reduction in satisfaction with the boss is offset with increased satisfaction with earnings, a finding consistent with profit sharing enhancing productivity and earnings.
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