Meritocracy as perceived experienced by selected bank managers: a phenomenological study

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology Major in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Dr. Romeo V. Suarez

Defense Panel Chair

Dr. Gundelina Velazco

Defense Panel Member

Dr. Carmelita Pabiton
Dr. Salud Evangelista


The study focuses on the subjective viewpoint of employees on meritocracy or pay-for-performance, a compensation scheme which is grounded on service/ performance excellence measured by means of a standardized performance appraisal report. This management philosophy is a deviation from the conventional manner by which salary increases or promotion are determined, that is, by looking at two factors - seniority and tenure. In meritocracy, said factors are just secondary considerations. Performance versus company goals or budget is the overriding factor.Various studies have been conducted on how salary or benefits schemes in companies affect employee motivation and job satisfaction or even performance. Normally, the effects are measured or determined by means of an experiment or a survey among employees and from the results, generalized conclusions are drawn. However, few studies have actually applied an in-depth analysis using employees' subjective views as a point of reference. These employees' views needed to be brought into focus for a deeper and thorough understanding of how performance is perceived as a fair and acceptable basis of salary administration, particularly by selected bank managers who are more senior and longer tenured than the other employees.In general, the study intended to find out the following:1. What are the subjective viewpoints of the bypassed and benefited employees who have been employed with the bank for more than five years regarding performance

as a sole basis of salary increase or promotion?2. How do bypassed and benefited employees perceive meritocracy as a salary adjustment and promotion scheme?3. What are the attitudes of the bypassed and benefited employees toward their company's total disregard of seniority and tenure in its performance appraisal system which is used to determine salary increase and promotion?The above questions were answered by means of a scheduled one-on-one interview with each employee. A total of twelve (12) bank managers, randomly sampled and stratified according to gender, were adopted as subjects. All have worked with the bank for 5 years and above, with ages ranging from 30 to 40 years old. In said interview, I made use of a self-constructed interview guide comprised of specific questions based on the above mentioned statement of the problem.Following the phenomenological approach to this particular research, the different perceptions of the respondents pertaining to meritocracy enabled me to capture the real essence of meritocracy as unrelated experiences were brought into view. This was achieved by examining the emergent themes arising from the meaning systems embodied in the responses of the subjects. Finally, I was able to see and feel the existential quality of meritocracy and cite its specific relationships with the persons directly affected by it, including myself.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

120 numb. leaves


Phenomenology; Pay-for-knowledge systems; Wage payment systems; Piece-work; Bonus system; Executives

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