Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Rebecca Bennett


Pay communication is an important yet complex organizational practice that assists organizations in achieving their compensation systems' goals and objectives (Gely and Bierman 2003). However, the management literature has neglected the pay communication concept, resulting in a scarce and undeveloped knowledge base on pay secrecy and pay openness. Given this opportunity, this dissertation focuses on pay communication and its influence on employee behaviors.

Chapter 2 presents an overview of the pay communication literature in the management discipline. A broader analysis of pay secrecy practices is provided since it is the practice primarily focused on in the pay communication literature, including details about pay secrecy's legality, benefits, and costs. Additionally, prior research is summarized.

Chapter 3 involves the development and validation of a pay communication measure with pay secrecy and pay openness representing the extremes. Three multistage studies were conducted to validate the pay communication scale. The first study consisted of generating a pool of items that together represent pay communication and initiating the refinement process of the items. The second study further refined the items by analyzing the inter-item correlations, variances, and factor loadings of each item in an exploratory factor analysis. In the third study, the proposed scale and dimensionality of the remaining items was confirmed by using confirmatory factor analysis and construct validation was determined.

Chapter 4 analyzes the relationship between pay secrecy and workplace deviance. This study utilizes the pay communication (pay secrecy and pay openness) scale developed in Chapter 3. Specifically, pay secrecy is expected to positively influence workplace deviance. Additionally, the pay secrecy-workplace deviance relationship is expected to be mediated by distributed justice, procedural justice, informational justice, interpersonal justice, organizational trust, and managerial trust. Continuance commitment is also proposed to moderate the relationship between pay secrecy and workplace deviance.

Chapter 5 concludes this dissertation. This chapter provides a summary of the overall research efforts conducted in Chapters 3 and 4. A brief review of the overall contributions of this dissertation to the pay communication literature and management discipline is also provided.