The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery
In many settings, firms rely on independent contractors, or freelancers, for the provision of certain services. The benefits of such relationships for both firms and workers are often understood in terms of increased flexibility. Less understood is the impact of freelancing on individual performance. While it is often presumed that the performance of freelancers is largely portable across organizations, it is also possible that a given worker's performance may vary across organizations if he or she develops firm-specific skills and knowledge over time. We examine this issue empirically by considering the performance of cardiac surgeons, many of whom perform operations at multiple hospitals within narrow periods of time. Using patient mortality as an outcome measure, we find that the quality of a surgeon's performance at a given hospital improves significantly with increases in his or her recent procedure volume at that hospital but does not significantly improve with increases in his or her volume at other hospitals. Our findings suggest that surgeon performance is not fully portable across hospitals (i.e., some portion of performance is firm specific). Further, we provide preliminary evidence suggesting that this result may be driven by the familiarity that a surgeon develops with the assets of a given organization.
Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lori Rosenkopf & Paul Almeida, 2003. "Overcoming Local Search Through Alliances and Mobility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 751-766, June.
- Paul Almeida & Bruce Kogut, 1999. "Localization of Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 905-917, July.
- Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
- Susan N. Houseman, 2001.
"Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
- Susan N. Houseman, "undated". "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles snh2001, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Susan N. Houseman, 2000. "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-67, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
- Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
- Gary P. Pisano & Richard M.J. Bohmer & Amy C. Edmondson, 2001. "Organizational Differences in Rates of Learning: Evidence from the Adoption of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(6), pages 752-768, June.
- Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
- Jaeyong Song & Paul Almeida & Geraldine Wu, 2003. "Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 351-365, April.
- Robert S. Huckman, 2003. "The Utilization of Competing Technologies Within the Firm: Evidence from Cardiac Procedures," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(5), pages 599-617, May.
- Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995.
"The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises,"
INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
- Epple, D. & Argote, L. & Darr, E.D., 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organisations: Productivity in Franchises," GSIA Working Papers 1995-16, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
- C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
- Cymrot, Donald J & Dunlevy, James A, 1987. "Are Free Agents Perspicacious Peregrinators?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 50-58, February.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
- Ray Reagans & Linda Argote & Daria Brooks, 2005. "Individual Experience and Experience Working Together: Predicting Learning Rates from Knowing Who Knows What and Knowing How to Work Together," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(6), pages 869-881, June.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-1143, Nov.-Dec..
- Chillemi, Ottorino & Gui, Benedetto, 1997. "Team Human Capital and Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 567-585, October.
- Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
- Paul Ingram & Tal Simons, 2002. "The Transfer of Experience in Groups of Organizations: Implications for Performance and Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(12), pages 1517-1533, December.
- Kahn, Lawrence M, 1993. "Free Agency, Long-Term Contracts and Compensation in Major League Baseball: Estimates from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 157-164, February.
- George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1990. "Workers Versus Firms: Bargaining Over a Firm's Value," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 369-380.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:4:p:473-488. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.