Tuesday, July 3, 2012


<<My humblest apologies to my readers; your posts are overdue. Have a good reading and a great sunshiney day everyone!>>

Preview Questions

Will more pay make us happier controllers? What motivates atcos to be engaged in Atc?

 In a recent study to determine job satisfaction among 122 controllers from around the world, equitable wages ranked as the most important to a controller's job satisfaction and well-being. From a psychological perspective, increased wages do increase well-being and even act as motivators but in contextual circumstances. Money is the means by which we attain certain material aspirations according to our individual and social preferences. However, having more money does not increase our happiness. 

In 2010, a study done by Richard Easterlin on 54 countries for a period of 4 decades showed that in the long term, increasing a country's wealth or GDP (Gross Domestic Product) does not indefinitely increase happiness levels irrespective of the level of national economic development. He found that as GDP increases, happiness increases only up to a certain point in time. The observation held true for rich and poor countries alike. The question that arises then is, will increasing wages of atcos increase their happiness and thus their well-being?

Easterlin's studies and the video show that money is not the only aspect nor the most important factor in improving a person's well-being. What then could be the motivating biases that prompted atcos to rank equitable wages in the first place?  Inequalities - inequalities in wages exist in each Atc unit and between Atc units.  Secondly, negative altruism exists in Atc.

The key to help us understand the following logic is based on the word equitable. Within each Atc unit, are there wage inequalities among atcos? For instance what are the marginal differences in salary increases for atcos with 25 years of service as compared to atcos with 15 years of service? If a 45 year-old atco persistently complains that she is underpaid and compares her wage to her colleague who is around the same age and who receives better remuneration from another company, chances are she may be right about the inequality. If several atcos with many years of service continuously complain about their wages, the managers of Atc should not let the complaints go unheeded.

In 2011 a study on German household data by Felix Fitzroy and David Ulph showed that for mature workers, large pay gaps between themselves and their peers had a significant negative effect on well-being. The study further revealed that younger persons use the wage distribution of their senior counterparts as incentives for future expectations. If senior atcos are improperly compensated for their services, what kind of incentives will junior controllers have for future lifetime expectations of Atc? Consider for a moment, how many atcos left the Atc unit and think about the age range of these atcos. Chances are that inequal wages are acting as disincentives to lifetime expectations and are deterrents to well-being.

The second reason or motivating bias for ranking wages in the first place is the negative altruistic effect  present among atcos, which I will discuss in another post.......

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