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Measuring Organizational Capital in the New Economy

In: Measuring Capital in the New Economy

  • Sandra E. Black
  • Lisa M. Lynch

A growing body of literature over the past decade suggests that a firm’s organizational structure/capital can contribute in significant ways to the productive capacity of a firm. But, as with other intangible assets, there is no consensus definition of what this organizational capital is, how to measure it, or how to best quantify its contribution to output (either current or future). We try to address this gap in the literature by proposing a definition of organizational capital based on recent empirical work on the impact of organizational capital on firm productivity and workers’ wages. We then discuss in detail how organizational capital has been measured and the measurement issues that face those trying to understand the extent of organizational capital in an economy.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Carol Corrado & John Haltiwanger & Dan Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital in the New Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number corr05-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10622.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10622
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. 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.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
    3. Lisa M Lynch & Sandra E Black, 2002. "Beyond the Incidence of Training: Evidence from a National Employers Survey," Working Papers 02-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Black, Sandra E & Lynch, Lisa M, 1996. "Human-Capital Investments and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 263-67, May.
    5. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
    6. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David Neumark & Peter Cappelli, 1999. "Do "High Performance" Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 7374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sandra E Black & Lisa M Lynch & Anya Krivelyova, 2003. "How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate," Working Papers 03-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    10. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    11. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2000. "What's Driving the New Economy: The Benefits of Workplace Innovation," NBER Working Papers 7479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Van Reenen, John & Caroli, Eve, 2001. "Skill-Biased Organizational Change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10093, Paris Dauphine University.
    13. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Malcomson, James M, 1983. "Trade Unions and Economic Efficiency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369a), pages 51-65, Supplemen.
    15. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 1997. "How to Compete: The Impact of Workplace Practices and Information Technology on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 6120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. 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.
    17. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Larry W. Hunter & Annette Bernhardt & Katherine L. Hughes & Eva Skuratowicz, 2001. "It's not just the ATMs: Technology, firm strategies, jobs, and earnings in retail banking," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 402-424, March.
    19. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
    20. Rosemary Batt, 2001. "Explaining wage inequality in telecommunications services: Customer segmentation, human resource practices, and union decline," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 425-449, March.
    21. Ann P. Bartel, 1989. "Formal Employee Training Programs and Their Impact on Labor Produc- tivity: Evidence from a Human Resources Survey," NBER Working Papers 3026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "Measuring Organization Capital," NBER Working Papers 8722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    24. Casey Ichniowski, 1990. "Human Resource Management Systems and the Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Businesses," NBER Working Papers 3449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. 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.
    26. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "How Well Do We Measure Training?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 507-28, July.
    27. Peter Cappelli & William H. Carter, 2000. "Computers, Work Organization, and Wage Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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