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WorldatWork Research Grants

Published Reports  |  Past Grant Recipients   |   RFP Document
Budget Proposal Sample   |   Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 2013

WorldatWork Research Grants
Consistent with the association’s mission of advancing the knowledge and careers of professionals, WorldatWork has periodically offered research grants to qualifying projects and researchers. At this time, there is no available research funding through the association. When funding becomes available, this page will contain information about the RFP opportunity.

In addition to periodic grant funding, WorldatWork has numerous opportunities for academics, researchers, and others to promote their research, or gain visibility with the association’s audience, such as:

  • Being published in our monthly member magazine workspan;
  • Being published in our quarterly scholarly journal, the WorldatWork Journal;
  • Submitting a book proposal to our book publishing group;
  • Submitting a request to be interviewed regarding your research for a video or podcast;
  • Submitting a proposal to speak at one of the WorldatWork live events – including the world’s largest annual conference of compensation and total rewards professionals;
  • Getting involved with the association’s volunteer leadership opportunities, such as being a peer reviewer of published articles, or as a member of one of the WorldatWork Advisory Councils.

Published Reports

Telework 2011: A Special Report from WorldatWork
A Report by WorldatWork Based on Data Collected by The Dieringer Group
June 2011

When employee data was collected in December 2010, the average American worker was more concerned with job security than with taking advantage of opportunities to telework. At the same time, employer views about telework have been changing, as evidenced by its expanded use on an ad hoc or occasional basis. (WorldatWork 2009)

In addition to technological changes that have further supported telework as a practical matter, employers are increasingly recognizing the bottom-line benefits of telework, such as supporting business continuity strategy, reducing real estate costs, and attracting talent from wider labor pools. (Corporate Voices for Working Families [CVWF] 2009)

Additionally, telework has value as it relates to employee engagement, satisfaction and retention as either an overall differentiator from a competitive standpoint or because employees view it as a privilege that is earned through good performance. (CVWF 2009) This special report provides a view of telework from both the employee and the employer perspectives, and creates a useful picture of how telework is playing out in the United States today.

Findings in this report are based on employee data collected by The Dieringer Research Group Inc. (commissioned by WorldatWork) and employer data collected by WorldatWork from its membership membership of human resources and total rewards professionals.


HR Pay Practices Survey 2010 (U.K.)
HR Magazine and WorldatWork

February 2011

While the term ‘the age of austerity’ continues to be bandied around boardrooms, the fears of redundancy, pay cuts, pay freezes and other ‘difficult decisions’ remain at the forefront of employees’ minds as they live in the shadow of recession, while the emotive subject of pay has become an increasingly serious issue for employers.

These are the key findings from this HR magazine/WorldatWork Pay Practices Survey, conducted during 2010. This is the first year HR magazine has teamed up with WorldatWork to investigate pay practices across all sectors of the U.K. economy. The results make interesting reading as employers move tentatively out of recession and into recovery.


Developing Performance Incentives and Sustaining Engagement in a Volatile Environment
PARC and WorldatWork
November 2010

Over the last three years, the role of incentives has had greater public prominence than ever before. This was probably inevitable given the perceived relationships between incentive practice in the banking sector, the financial crisis and the regulatory actions that followed.

The popular media now take a much stronger interest. In the UK, the US and no doubt elsewhere, variable pay outcomes have become significant news events. The terms “bonus” and “incentive” have become tarnished. The traditional aims of incentives – to provide motivation, focus and variable cost – often seem to have been undermined. The public focus is on executive incentive plans as being “bonuses” although such plans are now an ingrained part of the reward program for employees at all levels in commercial organizations.

In parallel with this, the economic environment has of course been very difficult; many
companies have seen demand for their products and services severely impacted by the recession. While adjusting and trimming their organizations, they have needed to keep their employees engaged and focused. Additionally, a volatile or turbulent context may also be the result of natural events, e.g. volcanic ash or a corporate calamity.

Developing and operating incentive plans in such circumstances has not been easy. Decisions which take account of several perspectives need to be taken to ensure that incentives continue to operate in an appropriate way.

This report offers:

  • a reminder of how incentives have developed
  • a summary of current thinking on how incentives influence engagement and motivation
  • an update on the changes made to incentives by a selection of organizations as they faced the recent recessionary environment
  • interpretations of these developments, and
  • observations and concluding questions.


Organizational Culture and Total Rewards: Person-Organiztion Fit
Michael M. Harris, Ph.D., University of Missouri-St. Louis
July 2010

Despite a relatively large body of academic literature on the subject, important questions remain regarding the general fit between a person and his/her environment (P-E fit) as well as person-organization fit (P-O fit). More specifically, one area that has been relatively unexplored is the relationship between P-O fit and total rewards systems.

The minimal research that has been conducted on the subject seems to support a link, but details are lacking. This study:

  • Used a broader measure of P-O fit than was used in earlier research on total rewards systems. This comprehensive evaluation has helped to more fully explain the overall fit between an organization and an employee as it relates to reactions to the total rewards system.
  • Examined more parameters of total rewards.
  • Included employee engagement, a relatively new construct that has been defined in a variety of ways, as a potential outcome in the research model.
  • Using a 40-item organizational cultural profile (OCP), research participants rated:
    • Their own values
    • Their perceptions of their organizations’ values
    • The importance to themselves of each of the major rewards elements included in the WorldatWork Total Rewards Model as well as their satisfaction with each component
    • Their overall work engagement.


Beyond Compensation: How Employees Prioritize Total Rewards at Various Life Stages
Margaret Leaf and Rebecca Ryan, Next Generation Consulting
April 2010

In 2008-2009, Next Generation Consulting (NGC) teamed with WorldatWork to study how employees at different life stages prioritize their rewards. We hypothesized that the relative importance of the five total rewards elements (compensation, benefits, work-life, performance and recognition, and development and career opportunities) is based on life stage, including age, work experience, parental status and other demographic variables.


The Relative Influence of Total Rewards Elements on Attraction, Motivation and Retention
Stephanie C. Payne, Ph.D., Michael K. Shaub, Ph.D. Allison Cook, Margaret T. Horner, Wendy R. Boswell, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
April 2010

This research examined the relative influence of WorldatWork's five rewards elements on individual attraction, motivation and retention, as well as the boundary condition for these relationships. We proposed that the relative importance of each element would differ depending on the outcome of interest.


Executive Compensation Case Studies: A Supplement to the WorldatWork Executive Rewards Questionary
Diane Vavrasek and WorldatWork
January 2010

In 2007, the all-volunteer Executive Rewards Advisory Board of WorldatWork, a group of practitioners working in the executive compensation
field, came together to produce the WorldatWork Executive Rewards Questionary: Optimize Executive Compensation Design. This WorldatWork sponsored research report responds to a question that was posed since the publication of the Questionary: Would the use of this one-of-akind
tool have had any effect on some of the highly publicized and embarrassing executive compensation situations of the past decade. The simple answer, as shown in this report, is yes.


Employee Equity Plans: Do They Have a Future?
PARC, WorldatWork and Hewitt New Bridge Street
November 2009

Broad-based equity plans have been a feature of organizational life for many companies over the past several decades. But how relevant are these plans today, in the aftermath of a major equity market downturn and the expensing of options? Do they still represent good value – either for the employee or the company? Do these plans help align employee and shareholder interests?

This report draws on research conducted during the summer of 2009, including a survey of 800 companies, case study interviews, and a review of academic literature. The report also contains a schedule of the current tax treatment around the world.


Watch an interview with Charles Grantham, Ph.D., Work Design Collaborative

Flexible Work Arrangements for Nonexempt Employees
Charles Grantham, Ph.D., Work Design Collaborative
Jim Ware, Ph.D., Work Design Collaborative
Jennifer E. Swanberg, Ph.D., Institute for Workplace Innovation, University of Kentucky
July 2009

Work is evolving at a dizzying speed in the United States. In the past decade, more work has started shifting to service- and information-based industries, inexpensive hand-held communication devices are pervasive, and the face of the workforce has changed dramatically. Today, the workforce is more diverse than ever, and it will include more hourly or “nonexempt” employees as the United States continues moving toward a service- and information-dominated economy.

But this evolution is not occurring without systemic challenges and disruptions. First, the way work happens in the United States seems to be changing more quickly and fundamentally than is the system of employment laws that was built to support it many decades ago. Thus, a key question has become, “How can employers, operating under a system of old laws, succeed in this new, rapidly changing work environment?”

The goal of this research was to develop a better understanding of how a new, smarter management model might be developed for dealing with the challenges of this work environment. Specifically, the study focused on the ability and limitations of nonexempt workers to participate in a work design that goes by many different names:

  • Telecommuting
  • Distributed work
  • Alternative work.


Implications of Employer-Supplied Connectivity Devices
Gayle Porter, Ph.D., Professor of Management
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Business – Camden
March 2009

Technology now allows connectivity 24/7, and many employers are — or are considering — furnishing hand-held electronic devices to
members of their workforces. In the best conditions, this can facilitate work efficiency and improve work-life effectiveness. In other situations, it may communicate to employees that they are expected to never disconnect from work, and potentially either foster resentment or enable unhealthy work behaviors.

Through a survey of 627 employees across multiple organizations and industries, this research explored the prevalence of employer-supplied connectivity devices, along with users’ work habits, beliefs about their companies’ culture and perception of the intended message when their employers supplies these devices.

Telework Trendlines 2009
WorldatWork and The Dieringer Research Group Inc.

February 2009

When gasoline prices shot past $3 in mid-2008 on their way to $4 per gallon or more in some areas, both employers and employees began looking for relief. Alternatives immediately were explored and implemented. Transit subsidies, carpooling, vanpooling and, of course, telecommuting quickly rose to the surface because of their relative ease of implementation.

But in 2008, telecommuting seemed to be in a different place than it had been before. In the 1980s, 1990s and even in the first part of this decade, the technology required to support remote work seemed to still lag behind the need. The proliferation of high-speed connectivity and the explosion of hand-held devices occurred during the early 2000s and have become a mainstream way of working for many employers and employees. Indeed, history may record someday that the technology required for productive remote working and the urgent need for remote working (due to high fuel prices) converged in 2008. But is there data to support this notion? WorldatWork is pleased to publish Telework Trendlines 2009, the latest in a set of longitudinal data collected by The Dieringer Research Group.