"In a recent study published by the Academy of Management Journal, Prof. Peter Bamberger of Tel Aviv University's Recanati School of Business and Dr. Elena Belogolovsky of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations have published a study that explains why pay secrecy is likely to hurt an individual's work performance and prompt top talent to seek new employment. They conclude that pay secrecy weakens the perception by employees that a performance improvement will be accompanied by a pay increase. It also finds that high-performing workers are more sensitive than others when they perceive no link between performance and pay; suggesting that pay secrecy could limit a company's ability to retain top talent."
So who, if anybody, benefits from pay secrecy?
However in today's corporate culture, a person's salary has little to do with their actual value to the company.
Maybe making salaries open would cause companies to assign salaries in relation to value, instead of simply trying to squeeze employees as hard as they can.
Perhaps an issue is that some companies feel that no employee should make more money than their immediate manager, so management keeps things obfuscated to protected themselves? I once worked for a company that forced all of its top-tier developers into management positions; and if they refused, forced them out of the company. It made no sense to me except that the VP of IT was once a developer and rose up through the management ranks, and he expected every other developer to feel the same way.
In Mondragon (see wikipedia), the employees of the company vote on the wage conditions of the entire company, including the CEO, who the employees elect. Everybody knows how much everybody earns. It's a very successful organization.
Sounds like something resembling a co-op. Sure, they can be successful, even wildly so. They're also not particularly attractive to investors, perhaps because they tend to view investors as a steaming pile of turd (which is mostly a fair assessment anyway).
Of course, acting like skilled labor is more important to companies than people with no involvement with a company outside of ownership of some shares is downright un-American, so i wouldn't worry about suddenly efficient organizations rising up to follow their lead anytime soon.
Yes, it is a co-op.
Pay secrecy benefits only the employer, because it can then have different pays for the same job, with some earning much less than what would ask for if pay information was public. Think of it like the inverse of airlines' price segmentation.