Quantifying wage-setting practices and outcomes is a challenging practice.
Previous research suggests that technical definitions used by stakeholders and researchers do not always resonate with employers and employees as it can be difficult to portray the breadth of practices that are in place in a practical sense at a workplace or enterprise.
An important part of the research process is to test the concepts and measures on typical survey respondents in order to identify where improvements can be made to enhance understanding. The desired outcome is to design a measure that is both valid and reliable in that it measures what it is intended to measure, consistently, across a range of survey respondents.
These testing procedures are necessarily guided by the requirement for measures to be technically correct to facilitate meaningful reporting, and so the result is to achieve the best version of a data item, but to recognise that it is imperfect.
Data quality limitations will be discussed throughout this section where the data show pay-setting information provided by AWRS respondents does not align with other sources of information about wage-setting practices and outcomes.
This section draws on data from the Employee Relations survey, the Workforce Profile survey and the Employee survey.
The strengths and limitations associated with each of the surveys, as well as differences in results, are noted where applicable. In particular, it should be noted that differences in reference periods between the Employee Relations and Workforce Profile questionnaires has resulted in enterprises reporting different numbers of employees having their pay set by particular arrangements in some cases.
 Evesson J and Oxenbridge S (2011), Enterprise Case Studies: Effects of minimum wage-setting at an enterprise level, Research Report No. 7/2010, February, Fair Work Australia, Melbourne; Healy J, McDonald I, Macaitis K, Mavromaras K and Sloane P (2011), Research Framework and Data Strategy, Research Report 4/2011, Fair Work Australia, Melbourne.