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Employee Involvment and Pay at U.S. and Canadian Auto Suppliers

Author

Listed:
  • Helper, S.
  • Levine, D.I.
  • Bendoly, E.

Abstract

Using both survey data and field research, we investigate the effects of employee involvement practices on outcomes for blue-collar workers in the auto supply industry. Using a variety of measures, we find consistent evidence that these practices raise wages by 3-5%. The causal mechanism linking involvement and wages appears most consistent with efficiency wage theories, and least consistent with compensating differences. With respect to employment stability, we find that employee involvement has a knife-edge character. Plants with intensive programs have larger employment gains, but are also slightly more likely to go out of business. These results are consistent with employee involvement raising quality and productivity, but also increasing fixed costs for liquidity-constrained firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Helper, S. & Levine, D.I. & Bendoly, E., 1999. "Employee Involvment and Pay at U.S. and Canadian Auto Suppliers," Papers 71, California Berkeley - Institute of Industrial Relations.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:calbir:71
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1996. "Reorganization of Firms and Labor-Market Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 315-321.
    2. Bearse, Peter M & Bozdogan, Hamparsum & Schlottmann, Alan M, 1997. "Empirical Econometric Modelling of Food Consumption Using a New Informational Complexity Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 563-586, Sept.-Oct.
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    4. Akerlof, George A, 1984. "Gift Exchange and Efficiency-Wage Theory: Four Views," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 79-83, May.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Levine, David I. & Parkin, Richard J., 1994. "Work organization, employment security, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 251-271, August.
    8. William T. Dickens, 1986. "Wages, Employment and the Threat of Collective Action by Workers," NBER Working Papers 1856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Erica L. Groshen, 1988. "Why do wages vary among employers?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 19-38.
    10. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1986. "Wage Setting, Unemployment, and Insider-Outsider Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 235-239, May.
    11. Susan Helper, 1997. "Complementarity and Cost Reduction: Evidence from the Auto Supply Industry," NBER Working Papers 6033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe Jirjahn & Kornelius Kraft, 2010. "Teamwork And Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion Among Blue-Collar Workers," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 404-429, September.
    2. Jaren Haber, 2016. "Institutionalized Involvement: Teams and Stress in 1990s U.S. Steel," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 632-661, October.
    3. David I. Levine & Michael W. Toffel, 2010. "Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 978-996.
    4. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2013. "Does high involvement management lead to higher pay?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(4), pages 861-885, October.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:79-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius, 2008. "Mitarbeiteranreizsysteme und Innovationserfolg (Employee suggestion schemes and innovation success)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 41(2/3), pages 245-258.
    7. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:2/3:p:245-258 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Trifkovic Neda, 2015. "Spillover Effects of International Standards: Work Conditions in Vietnamese Small and Medium Enterprises," WIDER Working Paper Series 047, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Ann P. Bartel, 2000. "Human Resource Management and Performance in the Service Sector: The Case of Bank Branches," NBER Working Papers 7467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Stephanie Lluis, "undated". "Human Resource Management Practices and Wage Dispersion in U.S. Establishments," Working Papers 0603, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY ; WORKERS ; WAGES ; WAGES;

    JEL classification:

    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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