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The Impact of Company Human Resource Policies on Social Skills: Implications for Training Sponsorship, Quit Rates and Efficiency Wages

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  • Green, Francis

Abstract

The concept of a firm's human capital is reconsidered to include both the technical and the social skills of its workforce. Technical skills are defined by the ability to turn inputs into outputs, and measured by the productivity of unit labour effort. Social skills are defined by the propensity to behave in a manner conducive to the firm's objectives. In other words, social skills are constituted as the norm of effort contribution to which an individual assents, and are measured by observed motivation and behaviour. The existence for firms of a labour management function is proposed and supported, relating social skills to human resource policies. Implications for the labour market are that: (i) firms pay for general training and, at the same time, wages do not necessarily increase with training; (ii) human capital acquisition may not lead to an increase in quitting, even controlling for wages; (iii) human resource policies substitute for efficiency wages or for employee monitoring; and (iv) economies with high organisational commitment have low equilibrium unemployment rates. Copyright 2000 by Scottish Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Green, Francis, 2000. "The Impact of Company Human Resource Policies on Social Skills: Implications for Training Sponsorship, Quit Rates and Efficiency Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 251-272, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:47:y:2000:i:3:p:251-72
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lisa M. Lynch & Sandra E. Black, 1995. "Beyond the Incidence of Training: Evidence from a National Employers Survey," NBER Working Papers 5231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993. "Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 142-160, January.
    3. Campbell, Carl M, III, 1993. "Do Firms Pay Efficiency Wages? Evidence with Data at the Firm Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 442-470, July.
    4. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & David Wilkinson, 1999. "Trade Unions and Training Practices in British Workplaces," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 179-195, January.
    5. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    6. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Costabile, Lilia, 1995. "Institutions, Social Custom and Efficiency Wage Models: Alternative Approaches," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 605-623, October.
    8. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-562, October.
    9. Green, Francis & Weisskopf, Thomas E, 1990. "The Worker Discipline Effect: A Disaggregative Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 241-249, May.
    10. Booth, Alison L & Satchell, Stephen E, 1994. "Apprenticeships and Job Tenure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 676-695, October.
    11. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    12. Alan Felstead & Francis Green & Ken Mayhew & Alan Pack, 1999. "The Impact of Training on Labour Mobility," Studies in Economics 9910, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    13. Leibenstein, Harvey, 1982. "The Prisoners' Dilemma in the Invisible Hand: An Analysis of Intrafirm Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 92-97, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francis Green, 2000. "Why has Work Effort become more intense? Conjectures and Evidence about Effort-Biased Technical Change and other stories," Studies in Economics 0003, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. repec:pet:annals:v:15:y:2015:i:1:p:101-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Francis Green, 2002. "Why Has Work Effort Become More Intense?," Studies in Economics 0207, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Ying Wu, 2003. "Substitution between wages and on-the-job training in an optimal labor contract," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 369-383.

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