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Mobile Information Technologies and Firm Performance: The Role of Employee Autonomy

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  • Viete, Steffen
  • Erdsiek, Daniel

Abstract

We investigate whether the returns to mobile information and communication technology (ICT) in the workplace are contingent on granting employees autonomy over the structure of their workday through trust-based work time arrangements (TBW). Our regression analysis is based on a production function framework and exploits fine-grained firm survey data on ICT use and organisational practices for 1,045 service firms in Germany. We find empirical support for the argument that the returns to mobile ICT are higher when TBW allows for discretion over when, where and how to perform work-related tasks. The finding holds when we account for more limited forms of workplace flexibility, suggesting that the high degree of formal employee autonomy under TBW drives the complementarity between mobile ICT and organisational practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Viete, Steffen & Erdsiek, Daniel, 2020. "Mobile Information Technologies and Firm Performance: The Role of Employee Autonomy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:51:y:2020:i:c:s0167624519300617
    DOI: 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2020.100863
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile information and communication technologies; complementarity; firm performance; productivity; work organisation; trust-based work time;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M15 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - IT Management
    • 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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