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What do people think employee share ownership schemes do for them? A qualitative study of participants’ experiences in three UK share schemes

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2018 by David McConville, John Arnold, Alison Smith
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Research has produced mixed findings about the impact of participation in employee share ownership (ESO) schemes on employee attitudes and behaviours. Analyses of how participants themselves interpret ESO’s effects could contribute to both theory-building and empirical evidence, but have not, to date, been undertaken. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 37 participants in three tax-advantaged ESO schemes in nine companies within the United Kingdom. Employees tended to feel that ESO had not increased their motivation, commitment or performance because they were already exhibiting these at a high level, as any good employee should. Even where this occurred, there was little evidence that employees thought ESO had strong effects, with the exception of staying with the company long enough to get a financial payoff. For some, this payoff was far from certain to materialise. There was some evidence that ESO was perceived to lead to a greater general sense of inclusion and that feeling special (e.g. being selected to participate) enhanced the perceived effects of ESO. We highlight the important roles of expectancy and instrumentality (expectancy theory) and conclude that the employee experience of ESO reflects theory in some respects, but also offers new elements that theory may need to incorporate.

Funding

This work was supported by ifs Proshare, BT and Pricewaterhouse Coopers

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

International Journal of Human Resource Management

Pages

1 - 32

Citation

MCCONVILLE, D., ARNOLD, J. and SMITH, A., 2018. What do people think employee share ownership schemes do for them? A qualitative study of participants’ experiences in three UK share schemes. International Journal of Human Resource Management, In Press.

Publisher

© Taylor and Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Human Resource Management on 5 March 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09585192.2018.1445655.

Acceptance date

16/02/2018

Publication date

2018

ISSN

0958-5192

eISSN

1466-4399

Language

en

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