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Participation in Organisations: Economic Approaches

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  • Almudena Cañibano
  • David Marsden

Abstract

Under the auspices of the debate about high performance work systems, it has been suggested that the evidence of positive results is disappointing and that one reason is that there has been a lack of theory. This paper argues that there is indeed a great deal of theory that could be used to reformulate the basic research questions, much of it coming from labour economics broadly understood. It includes a meta-survey of research on the effects of participation on performance since the landmark survey by Levine and Tyson in 1990 which was very positive. It finds that the evidence is less clear cut now. It is argued that this is due in part to consideration of a wider range of performance outcomes, improved data and methods, and to the wider diffusion of such practices compared with the 1980s. It is also suggested that the debate needs to be widened to include a broader range of participatory structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Almudena Cañibano & David Marsden, 2009. "Participation in Organisations: Economic Approaches," CEP Discussion Papers dp0945, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0945
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Marsden, 2006. "Individual Employee Voice: Renegotiation and Performance Management in Public Services," CEP Discussion Papers dp0752, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. David E. Guest & Jonathan Michie & Neil Conway & Maura Sheehan, 2003. "Human Resource Management and Corporate Performance in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 291-314, June.
    3. Marsden, David, 1999. "A Theory of Employment Systems: Micro-Foundations of Societal Diversity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294221.
    4. Richard B. Freeman & Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Worker Responses to Shirking under Shared Capitalism," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 77-103 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Richard B. Freeman & Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Works Councils," NBER Chapters,in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 27-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Serge-Christophe Kolm, 1969. "Structuration informationnelle centralisée et hiérarchisée. Une contribution à la théorie des organisations," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 20(3), pages 455-467.
    8. Harvie Ramsay & Dora Scholarios & Bill Harley, 2000. "Employees and High-Performance Work Systems: Testing inside the Black Box," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 501-531, December.
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    11. Williamson, Oliver E, 1993. "Calculativeness, Trust, and Economic Organization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 453-486, April.
    12. James M. Malcomson, 1997. "Contracts, Hold-Up, and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1916-1957, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oulton, Nicholas & Rincon-Aznar, Ana, 2009. "Rates of return and alternative measures of capital input: 14 countries and 10 branches, 1971-2005," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Sila, Urban, 2009. "Can family-support policies help explain differences in working hours across countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28684, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor-management relations; trade unions; collective bargaining; labor management; employee participation;

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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