Andy Spurlock
COMPENSATION ADVISOR

RESOURCES
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Free Online Compensation Textbook
I've never used a traditional compensation textbook in my classrooms as I find nearly all to be horribly expensive and not laid out very well.  However, this site does have one as well and has self-exams that can lead to certifications. 

Compensating the Sales Force: A Practical Guide to Designing Winning Sales Reward Programs, 2nd Edition
Author: David Cichelli
This is the best book on Sales Compensation I have ever come across.  It is a fixture in my portfolio of tools when advising clients.  Many of the concepts and plan designs can also be applied to traditional annual target plans for managers and individual contributors.  If you own only one book on Incentive Compensation, it should be this one.
 
Harvard Business Review Article: The Best Laid Incentive Plans
This fictional case study is remarkably simplistic in showing how the Law of Unintended Consequences can be unleashed with misguided incentive plans.
 
Harvard Business Review Article: The Case of Big Mac's Pay Plans
It is easy to think that a real life case study involving one of America’s most well-known companies could not possibly still be relevant after 40+ years.  Not true.  Only some of the dollar figures in the article are out-of-date due to inflation.  Otherwise, it is still a highly applicable article that shows just how difficult it is to think about, design, and implement an incentive plan for what was a fairly standardized job across all its stores.  Even after 10 years of design and modification, McDonalds was still unsure if it had the right plan for its store managers.

Harvard Business Review Article: Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work
Every few years the Harvard Business Review will publish an article that is highly controversial.  This was certainly the case in 1993 when Alfie Kohn challenged the very premises for which incentive compensation plans are supposed to exist.  Kohn lays outs his case so articulately it will force you to consider whether an incentive plan is even appropriate in many situations.  An excellent contrarian article that has always caused the most debate in my college classrooms.   

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