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The Organization of Work: Changes and Their Consequences

Author

Listed:
  • Avner Ben-Ner
  • Fanmin Kong
  • Tzu-Shian Han
  • Nien-Chi Liu
  • Yong-Seung Park

Abstract

This paper documents the changes in human resource practices from the early 1980s to the middle of the 1990s, using a unique and comprehensive data set concerning a sample of about 800 firms from a wide rage of industries in the state of Minnesota. A major aspect in these changes concerns the widespread adoption of practices that emphasize employee involvement in decision-making and in firm financial returns. Focusing on cross-sectional data the paper examines the determinants of human resource practices and finds that differences in the complexity of tasks and the interdependence among the tasks of core employees explain well the prevalence of employee participation in decision-making both individually and in groups. The association between human resource practices and outcomes of interest to employees and shareholders is complicated; the empirical findings do not support strong statements concerning the effect of employee participation in decision-making and in financial returns on outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Avner Ben-Ner & Fanmin Kong & Tzu-Shian Han & Nien-Chi Liu & Yong-Seung Park, 2001. "The Organization of Work: Changes and Their Consequences," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 27, pages 121-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:noj:journl:v:27:y:2001:p:121-134
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    File URL: http://www.nopecjournal.org/NOPEC_2001_a07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Ben-Ner Avner & Montias John Michael & Neuberger Egon, 1993. "Basic Issues in Organizations: A Comparative Perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 207-242, June.
    3. Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:journl:hal-00710213 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Maëlezig Bigi & Nathalie Greenan & Sylvie Hamon-Cholet & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2012. "Changements organisationnels et évolution du vécu au travail des salariés : une comparaison entre secteur privé et Fonction publique d'Etat," Working Papers halshs-00979650, HAL.
    3. Nathalie Greenan & Edward Lorenz, 2009. "Learning Organisations: the importance of work organisation for innovation," Working Papers halshs-01376968, HAL.
    4. Maëlezig Bigi & Nathalie Greenan & Sylvie Hamon-Cholet & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2012. "Changements organisationnels et évolution du vécu au travail : une comparaison entre secteur privé et fonction publique d'Etat," Working Papers hal-00710213, HAL.
    5. Parama Chaudhury, 2010. "Multi-tasking and the Returns to Experience," Economics Series Working Papers 518, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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