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

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

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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 251-281

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Handle: RePEc:taf:intecj:v:19:y:2005:i:2:p:251-281
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  1. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato & Jeffrey Pliskin, 1999. "Profit Sharing and Gainsharing: A Review of Theory, Incidence, and Effects," Macroeconomics 9903010, EconWPA.
  2. Takao Kato, 2000. "The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan," NBER Working Papers 7965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. repec:dgr:rugsom:01a43 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Chris Doucouliagos, 1995. "Worker participation and productivity in labor-managed and participatory capitalist firms: A meta-analysis," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 58-77, October.
  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.
  9. 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.
  10. David Neumark & Peter Cappelli, 1999. "Do "High Performance" Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 7374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
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