This article seeks to establish the extent to which a major bank’s (Finbank) reward strategy for managers demonstrates the plausibility of Lawler’s model of reward strategy. This model argues that business strategy implies individual and organisational behaviours which dictate the content of reward strategy. In addition, three critical elements of the reward system need to be aligned for the system to be effective: the organisation’s core values; the implementation process; and the structure. The data collected demonstrate that Lawler’s model presents three major complications. It over‐simplifies the process of strategy formulation and content; it gives equal importance to values, structure and process although the data showed that the last was of the greatest significance; and it is represented as unitarist and deterministic.
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