Research: The Unintended Consequences of Pay Transparency

Wai Yuan Leon Lam, Bonnie Hayden Cheng, Peter Alan Bamberger, Man Nok Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


Pay transparency refers to a pay communications policy in which a company voluntarily provides pay-related information to employees — for example, about the process of the pay system (process transparency) and actual pay levels or ranges (outcome transparency), or even an open policy for employees to freely share information about their pay (communications transparency). Companies around the world have been increasingly adopting pay transparency policies and practices as a means of narrowing the gender pay gap and fostering an engaged and positive working environment that builds trust. Pay transparency can help companies achieve these goals — but it can also have unintended consequences. The authors present three pitfalls to watch out for, plus ways to avoid them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHarvard Business Review
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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