Understanding multiple dimensions of compensation satisfaction

Margaret L. Williams, Michael A. McDaniel, Lucy R. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We conducted meta-analyses of multiple dimensions of compensation satisfaction. An examination of 213 samples from 182 studies yielded several interesting findings of importance to practice and future research. We examined the relationships among four dimensions of compensation satisfaction (pay level, pay raises, benefit level, pay structure and administration satisfaction), and found that the three dimensions related to direct pay are highly related to one another. The relationships between benefits and the three direct pay dimensions were modest. We also analyzed antecedents, correlates, and consequences of the four compensation satisfaction dimensions. The antecedents of pay raise satisfaction have received the most attention, and our results indicate that both perceptual (e.g., perceptions of the basis for a pay raise) and objective (i.e., the amount of the pay raise) antecedents play roles in determining pay raise satisfaction. Previous research on the relationship between employee costs for benefits and benefit satisfaction have been inconclusive. The meta-analysis yields a modest, negative relationship between employee costs and benefit satisfaction. Additional results provide the foundation for our discussion of the current state of research in these areas, recommendations for practice, and suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-459
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Benefits
  • Compensation satisfaction
  • Meta-analysis


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