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The effects of human resource management on small firms' productivity and employees' wages

  • Andries de Grip
  • Inge Sieben

This paper analyses whether employees and firms differently benefit from particular human resource (HR) practices. The focus is on small firms that may be badly informed on the impact of HR practices on firm performance. In this study on Dutch pharmacies, it is found that firms do not reward employees' skills according to their contribution to firms' productivity, as (1) employees are over-rewarded for their sector-specific skills and under-rewarded for the productivity enhancing effect of their computer skills and (2) employees' work experience positively affects their wages but does not have real productivity effects. Moreover, it is found that training employees in case of vacancy problems seems to be an adequate HR practice, since it increases productivity without affecting the average wage level. The opposite holds for offering higher wages to newly recruited employees. Furthermore, we find that only the employees benefit from performance evaluation interviews, whereas employing many employees by temporary contracts appears to have a negative effect on productivity, without affecting the wage level.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1047-1054

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:9:p:1047-1054
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  1. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
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  3. 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.
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  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:339-376 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1995. "A Jobs-Based Analysis of Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 260-65, May.
  9. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Heijke, Hans & Meng, Christoph & Ris, Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the job: the role of generic and vocational competencies in adjustment and performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 215-229, April.
  11. John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Joern-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," Working papers 98-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, December.
  14. Borghans Lex & Weel Bas ter, 2003. "Are computer skills the new basic skills? The returns to computer, writing and math skills in Britain," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  15. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2000. "Returns to firm-provided training: evidence from French worker-firm matched data1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  16. Julie Hotchkiss, 1998. "Cross-sectional evidence for the job-matching model," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 121-125.
  17. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2001. "Flexible Work Systems and the Structure of Wages: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 353, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Andy Dickerson & Francis Green, 2004. "The growth and valuation of computing and other generic skills," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 371-406, July.
  19. Dearden, Lorraine & Reed, Howard & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "Who Gains when Workers Train? Training and Corporate Productivity in a Panel of British Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Eugenia Kazamaki Ottersten & Thomas Lindh Mellander, 1999. "Evaluating firm training, effects on performance and labour demand," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(7), pages 431-437.
  21. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  22. Paul Osterman, 2000. "Work reorganization in an era of restructuring: Trends in diffusion and effects on employee welfare," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 179-196, January.
  23. Zwick, Thomas & Wolf, Elke, 2002. "Reassessing the Impact of High Performance Workplaces," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  24. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1981. "Are Those Paid More Really More Productive? The Case of Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(2), pages 186-216.
  25. J. A. Molina & R. Ortega, 2003. "Effects of employee training on the performance of North-American firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(9), pages 549-552.
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