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Firm Organization, Technology And Performance: An Empirical Study


  • Nathalie Greenan
  • Dominique Guellec


The purpose of the study is to characterize different styles of work organization in French firms and their current changes and to link them to the use of specific technologies and to firms performance. The data which are used arc of two kinds: a labor force survey (1 470 blue collar) and a business survey (7 089 firms). We show that two main variables create differences among firms' organization devices: the intensity of communication within the workshop and the level of autonomy of workers (facing technological and hierarchical constraints). The use of advanced technologies and the skill of the labor force are positively linked to both organizational variables. Therefore. 'Communicating organization' and organizational innovation seem to aim at creating conditions for individual and collective learning on new technologies. They also enhance the ability of the firm to adapt to changing market conditions through technological innovation and inventory reduction, These views are supported by econometric estimation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 1998. "Firm Organization, Technology And Performance: An Empirical Study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 313-347.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:6:y:1998:i:4:p:313-347 DOI: 10.1080/10438599800000024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Dunne, 1991. "Technology Usage in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: New Evidence from the Survey of Manufacturing Technology," Working Papers 91-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    3. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
    4. Paul Geroski & Steve Machin & John Van Reenen, 1993. "The Profitability of Innovating Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 198-211, Summer.
    5. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    6. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    7. McGuckin, Robert H, 1995. "Establishment Microdata for Economic Research and Policy Analysis: Looking beyond the Aggregates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 121-126, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuliana Battisti & Heinz Hollenstein & Paul Stoneman & Martin Woerter, 2007. "Inter And Intra Firm Diffusion Of Ict In The United Kingdom (Uk) And Switzerland (Ch) An Internationally Comparative Study Based On Firm-Level Data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(8), pages 669-687.
    2. Riccardo Leoni & Giuseppe Usai, 2004. "Organizations Between Systemic and Epistemological Complexities. An Introduction," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(1), pages 3-25, January-F.
    3. Stoneman, Paul & Battisti, Giuliana, 2010. "The Diffusion of New Technology," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    4. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 1999. "Organizational Change in French Manufacturing: What Do We Learn From Firm Representatives and From Their Employees?," NBER Working Papers 7285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Piva, Mariacristina & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "The skill bias effect of technological and organisational change: Evidence and policy implications," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 141-157, March.
    6. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    7. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael Waldman, 2012. "Theory and Evidence in Internal Labor Markets," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    9. Dostie Benoit & Jayaraman Rajshri, 2012. "Organizational Redesign, Information Technologies and Workplace Productivity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-41, February.
    10. Mariacristina Piva & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2006. "Technological and organizational changes as determinants of the skill bias: evidence from the Italian machinery industry," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 63-73.
    11. Kathryn Shaw, 2004. "The Human Resources Revolution: Is It a Productivity Driver?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 4, pages 69-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2004. "The determinants of the skill bias in Italy: R&D, organisation or globalisation?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 329-347.
    13. Athey, Susan. & Stern, Scott, 1969-, 1998. "An empirical framework for testing theories about complementarity in orgaziational design," Working papers WP 4022-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    14. Riccardo Leoni, 2013. "Organization of work practices and productivity: an assessment of research on world- class manufacturing," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Pierre Mohnen & Bronwyn Hall, 2013. "Innovation and Productivity: An Update," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(1), pages 47-65, June.
    16. Houy, Thomas, 2005. "ICT and Lean Management: Will They Ever Get Along?," MPRA Paper 2502, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Nathalie Greenan & Jacques Mairesse, 2006. "Les changements organisationnels, l'informatisation des entreprises et le travail des salariés. Un exercice de mesure à partir de données couplées entreprises/salariés," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(6), pages 1137-1175.
    18. Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier, 2007. "The variety of ICT adopters in the intra-firm diffusion process: Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 409-437, December.
    19. Mariacristina Piva & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2004. "Technological and Organizational Changes as Determinants of the Skill Bias: Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    20. Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Technological Innovation and Employment Reallocation," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 14(4), pages 547-590, December.
    21. Bocquet, Rachel & Brossard, Olivier & Sabatier, Mareva, 2007. "Complementarities in organizational design and the diffusion of information technologies: An empirical analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 367-386, April.

    More about this item


    Organization of Production; Learning; Technological Innovation; Empirical study JEL Classification: L23; 033;

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production


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