Aaron Hill
Associate Professor of Management Aaron Hill.

Management faculty member’s paper among ‘most significant’ in human resources

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A research paper by Associate Professor of Management Aaron Hill was named among the finalists for the prestigious 2022 Scholarly Achievement Award from the Academy of Management’s Human Resources Division. The Scholarly Achievement Award is presented to the authors of the most significant article in human resource management published in 2021 in recognized journals and research annuals.

Hill co-authored the paper, titled “The gender equity gap: A multistudy investigation of within-job inequality in equity-based awards,” with Felice B. Klein (BSBA ’03) of Boise State University, Ryan Hammond of Pure Storage and Ryan Stice-Lusvardi of Stanford University.

As part of their research, the authors focused on pay inequity between men and women. While its well known that women are paid less than male colleagues in the workplace, with women earning less than 84 cents for every dollar a man makes, the research team looked into a less-known aspect of pay – equity-based awards.

Specifically, the researchers found that female employees received 20% less in the number of equity-based awards, like stock grants and stock option grants, and over 30% less in the value of equity-based awards than male employees in similar roles. For female employees, this averages to earning more than $11,000 less than their male counterparts in equity-based awards.

Of the equity-based awards given to female employees, the researchers also found that the gender-pay gap exists only in ‘refresh grants,’ meaning awards given to high-performing employees for retention purposes, rather than in ‘initial hire grants,’ or awards given to employees when they are first hired.

“The end takeaways [from the data] are two-fold,” Hill said. “One, salary audits are now fairly commonplace – but they do not appear to be applied to stock-based compensation with the same vigor, allowing room for possible gender gaps in this form of pay. Two, our findings suggest firms (and people generally, in an experiment) assign stock equally based upon merit/ability. The issue comes on the perceptions of the retention side. Hence, differences in the ‘refresher’ versus ‘initial hire’ grants.”

The recent accolade from the Academy of Management is the second it has bestowed on Hill, Klein, Hammond and Stice-Lusvadri’s paper. In 2019, the organization awarded the researchers with the Best Convention Paper at its annual conference.

Hill came to Warrington in 2018 from Oklahoma State University. His research focuses on strategic leadership and governance, examining what drives strategic leaders like executives and politicians to act as well as the ultimate implications of these individuals for organizational outcomes.

Hill’s research has been published in outlets such as the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and Journal of Management, among others. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Management and is on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and Strategic Organization. He received the Journal of Management Outstanding Reviewer Award in 2020 and the Academy of Management Journal Best Reviewer Award in 2017.

Hill earned his Ph.D. in strategic management from Oklahoma State University and his MBA and bachelor’s degree in economics from Gonzaga University.