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Employee participation and involvement in korea: evidence from a new survey and field research

Author

Listed:
  • Takao Kato
  • Ju HO Lee
  • Kang-sung Lee
  • Jang-soo Ryu

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the incidence, scope and nature of employee participation in Korea. The key findings include: (i) the incidence of works councils (WCs) is higher than in most other countries; (ii) not all WCs are functioning well with a little less than 70% of Korean firms having functioning WCs; (iii) WCs may be a substitute for traditional collective bargaining; (iv) there are complementarities between EI (Employee Involvement) programmes and trade unions (especially FKTU-affiliated unions); between EI programmes and training; and between representative participation at the top and direct participation at the shopfloor; (v) there is evidence of dysfunctional and weak quality circles; and (vi) consistent with our hypotheses, firms with EI programmes (especially effective EI programmes) are generally larger, more capital intensive, spend more on training and more productive than other firms. Finally, we use qualitative data from two large manufacturing firms to explore further the use of employee participation and involvement programmes in Korea.

Suggested Citation

  • Takao Kato & Ju HO Lee & Kang-sung Lee & Jang-soo Ryu, 2005. "Employee participation and involvement in korea: evidence from a new survey and field research," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 251-281.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:19:y:2005:i:2:p:251-281
    DOI: 10.1080/10168730500080923
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Takao Kato, 2003. "The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 39-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chris Doucouliagos, 1995. "Worker Participation and Productivity in Labor-Managed and Participatory Capitalist Firms: A Meta-Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 58-77, October.
    3. Takao Kato & Motohiro Morishima, 1995. "The Productivity Effects of Human Resource Management Practices: Evidence from New Japanese Panel Data," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_143, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. John Paul Macduffie, 1995. "Human Resource Bundles and Manufacturing Performance: Organizational Logic and Flexible Production Systems in the World Auto Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
    5. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato & Jeffrey Pliskin, 1994. "Profit Sharing and Gainsharing: A Review of Theory, Incidence, and Effects," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_125, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato, 1993. "The Scope, Nature, and Effects of Employee Stock Ownership Plans in Japan," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(2), pages 352-367, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kato, Takao & Lee, Ju Ho & Ryu, Jang-Soo, 2010. "The Productivity Effects of Profit Sharing, Employee Ownership, Stock Option and Team Incentive Plans: Evidence from Korean Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Uwe JIRJAHN & Stephen C. SMITH, 2018. "Nonunion Employee Representation: Theory And The German Experience With Mandated Works Councils," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(1), pages 201-233, March.
    3. Hyondong Kim & Kang Sung-Choon, 2013. "Strategic HR functions and firm performance: The moderating effects of high-involvement work practices," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 91-113, March.
    4. Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi & Rhokeun Park, 2010. "Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 41-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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