‘Fair’ pay? – Who’s fairer, Goldman Sachs or John Lewis?

Here is an extract from OMS LLP’s fortnightly Human Governance Briefing: Issue 5. To receive a copy and be added to the emailing list for future issues please contact Stuart Woollard.

gs-vs-jl‘Fairer’ pay disappears down a rabbit hole

Pay and reward are such contentious topics that they rarely let sound principles and evidence get in the way. This FT report, on plans by the UK Government to publish pay ratios, raised a slight “snag”: they would make Goldman Sachs appear ‘fairer’ than John Lewis.  What did they expect?

Today we increasingly look at the character, integrity, values and culture of corporations as never before but that analysis has to be dispassionate and impartial.  The evidence needs to be objective. It is a false and simplistic dichotomy to view a company as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and broad  generalisations about the phenomenon of  “excessive boardroom pay” neither define the problem nor offer a remedy. Organizations are intrinsically complex and unravelling that complexity and providing solutions requires professional, maturity analysis.

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