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The Effect of Employee Workplace Representation on Firm Performance a Cross-Country Comparison within Europe

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Author Info

  • Annette van den Berg

    ()

  • Yolanda Grift

    ()

  • Arjen van Witteloostuijn

    ()

  • Christophe Boone

    ()

  • Olivier Van der Brempt

    ()

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    Abstract

    In this paper, we contribute to the extant Industrial Relations literature, which is almost completely confined to estimating the effects of worker participation within a single country, by conducting a comparative multi-country study using unique data from the European Company Survey 2009. We compare representation regimes within the European Union. We categorize the EU Member States into five clusters with similar participation characteristics: the Germanic, French, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and transition cluster. Across these clusters, we first estimate the effects of the presence of what we refer to as an information and consultation body on firm performance, measured by economic performance of the establishment as assessed by managers-respondents. Second, we estimate the effects of managerial attitudes on performance, as we assume - and find - that only taking into account the mere presence of a worker representation is insufficient, as mutual understandings between management and employee representatives affect the functioning of the employee representation body, and hence firm performance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-05.

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    Length: 48 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1305

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    Related research

    Keywords: employee representation; works councils; firm performance; international comparison; Europe; ECS2009;

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    References

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    1. Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes‐Gellner, 2011. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 427-447, 08.
    2. Olaf H¸bler & Uwe Jirjahn, 2003. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(4), pages 471-491, 09.
    3. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "The Heterogeneous Economic Consequences of Works Council Relations," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 131(1), pages 59-71.
    4. Alex Bryson & Carola Frege, 2010. "The Importance of Comparative Workplace Employment Relations Studies," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 231-234, 06.
    5. John T. Addison & Lutz Bellman & Alex Bryson & André Pahnke & Paulino Teixeira, 2009. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0954, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Addison, John T & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2001. "Work Councils in Germany: Their Effects on Establishment Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 659-94, October.
    7. Carola M. Frege, 2002. "A Critical Assessment of the Theoretical and Empirical Research on German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 221-248, 06.
    8. John T. Addison & Clive R. Belfield, 2001. "Updating the Determinants of Firm Performance: Estimation using the 1998 UK Workplace Employee Relations Survey," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(3), pages 341-366, 09.
    9. repec:nsr:niesrd:341 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:nsr:niesrd:327 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. David Fairris & Philippe Askenazy, 2010. "Works Councils and Firm Productivity in France," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 209-229, September.
    12. Steffen Mueller, 2011. "Works Councils and Firm Profits Revisited," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 49(Supplemen), pages s27-s43, 06.
    13. Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2008. "A Tale of Two Countries: Unions, Closures and Growth in Britain and Norway," CEP Discussion Papers dp0867, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Works councils and employment growth in German establishments," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 475-500.
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