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Ordinary Atypical Workers, Participation within the Firm and Innovation: A Theoretical Endeavor and Empirical Outlook

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  • Nicole Torka
  • Jan Kees Looise
  • Stefan Zagelmeyer

Abstract

This paper offers a theoretical exploration and empirical outlook towards a triptych heretofore not properly investigated: atypical work (e.g., self-employed, agency workers, and workers with a fixed-term contract), participation within the firm, and innovation. How, it must be asked, can and will atypical workers contribute to innovation through participation within the firm or, from another angle, how can participation within the firm contribute to atypical workers willingness to express innovative behavior? For the answer researchers have to learn far more about two distinct groups of atypical workers: ‘external knowledge workers’ who are highly educated and explicitly hired for innovation, and ‘ordinary atypical workers’ who are neither highly educated nor hired for innovational purposes. For two reasons, the focus here is on the latter: we (1) presume and show, in contrast to what many scholars assume, that ordinary atypical workers can contribute to innovation in a direct and positive way, and (2) argue that participation within the firm is the key for these workers potential contribution to innovation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Rainer Hampp Verlag in its journal Management Revue - The international Review of Management Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 221-239

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Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2011_3_torka

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Related research

Keywords: atypical work; flexible labour; freelancers; fixed-term contracts; temp agency work; (direct and representative) participation within the firm; social and technical innovation;

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References

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  1. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," IZA Discussion Papers 878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. John Addison & Stanley Siebert & Joachim Wagner & Xiangdong Wei, 2000. "Worker Participation and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany and Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 7-48, 03.
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  12. John T. Addison & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Do Works Councils Inhibit Investment?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 187-203, January.
  13. Angel Martínez‐Sánchez & María‐José Vela‐Jiménez & Manuela Pérez‐Pérez & Pilar de‐Luis‐Carnicer, 2011. "The Dynamics of Labour Flexibility: Relationships between Employment Type and Innovativeness," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 715-736, 06.
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  15. Jirjahn, Uwe & Kraft, Kornelius, 2006. "Do Spillovers Stimulate Incremental or Drastic Product Innovations? Hypotheses and Evidence from German Establishment Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-23, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Schlese, 2012. "Wie viele Leiharbeitskräfte gibt es?: Zur Vergleichbarkeit der Fallzahlen bei Leiharbeit zwischen SOEP und ANÜSTAT," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 486, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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