Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Compensation of IT Professionals within and Across Geographies

Whitaker, J., S. Mithas, C-W. Liu. “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Compensation of IT Professionals Within and Across Geographies,” Information Systems Research, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2019

See all articles by Jonathan Whitaker

Jonathan Whitaker

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

Sunil Mithas

University of South Florida

Chewei Liu

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Information Systems

Date Written: December 23, 2018

Abstract

How do multinational corporations (MNCs) and domestic firms compensate technical and managerial skills of knowledge workers within and across geographies? This paper answers this question by examining how developed economy MNCs and emerging economy firms value MBA education and firm-specific IT experience of IT professionals in India; and how developed economy MNCs value MBA education and firm-specific IT experience differently across India and the U.S. Our analyses of archival data on more than 20,000 IT professionals reveal two important findings. First, for IT professionals in India, the marginal effect of firm-specific IT experience on compensation is greater for developed economy MNCs than for emerging economy firms, and the marginal effect of MBA education is greater for emerging economy firms than for developed economy MNCs. Second, when we compare compensation of IT professionals employed by MNCs across India and the U.S., we find a greater marginal effect of firm-specific IT experience in India but a greater marginal effect of MBA education in the U.S. These findings suggest that the manner in which MNCs and emerging economy firms value and compensate IT professionals across geographies is consistent with their firm-level strategies and capabilities. The findings provide important insights on compensation of IT professionals within and across geographies based on firm national origin. These contributions are important to understand the broader context of compensation of IT professionals across firm national origin and geographies.

Keywords: MNC, multinational, global, human capital, information, technology, IT, experience, MBA, education, professional, compensation, emerging, developed, economy, arbitrage, knowledge work

Suggested Citation

Whitaker, Jonathan and Mithas, Sunil and Liu, Chewei, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Compensation of IT Professionals within and Across Geographies (December 23, 2018). Whitaker, J., S. Mithas, C-W. Liu. “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder: Toward a Contextual Understanding of Compensation of IT Professionals Within and Across Geographies,” Information Systems Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415200

Jonathan Whitaker (Contact Author)

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business ( email )

1 Gateway Road
Richmond, VA 23229
United States
804.287.6524 (Phone)
804.289.8878 (Fax)

Sunil Mithas

University of South Florida ( email )

Tampa, FL 33620
United States

Chewei Liu

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Information Systems ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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