The Merit of a Points-Based Merit System at the Edwards School of Business
Pohler, D. (2012) The Merit of a Points-Based Merit System at the Edwards School of Business. Ivey Publishing.
A case study of the challenges in implementing a points-based merit system at a business school.
A new faculty member is engaged in a decision-making process surrounding the development of a points-based system designed to allocate merit pay at a business school. The process is forcing her to evaluate how she is structuring the allocation of her work, which is directly affecting her motivation toward coaching a student case competition team. Edwards has historically used a judgment-based approach to the allocation of merit. The case outlines the rationale used in the design of the new points-based system, discusses the potential advantages and disadvantages, and highlights the perspectives of different stakeholders throughout the process, including the union, the faculty, and senior administration. The union is opposed to merit, so has outlined fairly stringent criteria for the awarding of merit in the new collective agreement. Faculty opinion is mixed surrounding merit more generally, and the implementation of a points-based system versus a judgment-based system in particular. Senior university administration is committed to the continuation of the merit system at the university as a tool to reward outstanding performance and to retain star faculty. The individual departments at Edwards are in the midst of finalizing the standards and procedures for allocation of merit-based pay. The protagonist is uncertain about how her department will proceed in the design and allocation of points, and how it will result in her re-allocating her work tasks.