One of the most senior people in my agency once said to me:
"I expect everybody to do a good job. I promote those who do more."
He explained that basically everybody is pretty much equally talented and met the job requirements. There is variability but half the time that has less to do with talent and more to do with circumstances, either personal or corporate. The real stars were people who did 'extra'. The persons who stepped up to corporate or personal challenges: organized the corporate safety program, family days, were scout leaders or involved in their community. When promotion time came, or cuts were required, the rewards went to people who simply did more than was asked or required. Not surprisingly, those who rose were loyal to the agency, some left but never because they felt underappreciated.
Bottom line: if all you do is the job, then your loyalty is to your work (and self) not your company. Big difference. And in a group of self-interested people, the company will be basically picking the best it can from a bunch of bad apples. So really, who cares about the mechanism?