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Workplace organization and innovation


  • Cindy Zoghi
  • Robert D. Mohr
  • Peter B. Meyer


This study uses panel data on Canadian establishments to explore the relationship between the organization of work - in particular decentralization, information-sharing, and incentive pay schemes - and innovation. Like other studies, ours finds a clear positive link between these factors. However, the data give strong indications that this relationship is not causal. We show that: (1) the correlation between workplace organization and innovation holds for information-sharing but is much weaker for decentralized decision-making or incentive pay programs, (2) controls for unobserved heterogeneity significantly weaken results, and (3) lagged variables give no clear evidence that organizational changes predate innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cindy Zoghi & Robert D. Mohr & Peter B. Meyer, 2010. "Workplace organization and innovation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 622-639, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:2:p:622-639

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hempell, Thomas & Zwick, Thomas, 2005. "Technology Use, Organisational Flexibility and Innovation: Evidence for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-57, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Meyer, Jenny, 2007. "Older Workers and the Adoption of New Technologies," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-050, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Spyros Arvanitis & Euripidis N. Loukis & Vasiliki Diamantopoulou, 2013. "Are ICT, Workplace Organization and Human Capital Relevant for Innovation?," KOF Working papers 13-333, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    4. Spyros Arvanitis & Florian Seliger & Tobias Stucki, 2013. "The Relative Importance of Human Resource Management Practices for a Firm's Innovation Performance," KOF Working papers 13-341, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    5. Eriksson, Tor & Qin, Zhihua & Wang, Wenjing, 2014. "Firm-level innovation activity, employee turnover and HRM practices — Evidence from Chinese firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 583-597.
    6. Meyer, Jenny, 2008. "The Adoption of New Technologies and the Age Structure of the Workforce," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-045, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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