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Are Pro-Reformers Better Performers?

Author

Listed:
  • Tim R.L. Fry

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Kelly Jarvis

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Joanne Loundes

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

There appears to be widespread consensus in industry and government that a switch from centralized bargaining to an enterprise based system benefits productivity. However, research suggests that the link between bargaining structures and worker productivity is dubious and that empirical research has been unable to discover a relationship between them. In this paper we use data from Australian companies at the enterprise level and examine the links between performance and a range of human resources, industrial relations and management variables to determine whether bargaining structures do impact on performance. In particular, we investigate whether organisations that have incorporated aspects of the industrial relations reform agenda have outperformed organisations that have not. The results from the application of a treatment effects regression model show evidence that organisations adopting the industrial relations reform agenda report significantly higher levels of self-assessed labour productivity relative to their competitors, even after controlling for a number of different factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim R.L. Fry & Kelly Jarvis & Joanne Loundes, 2002. "Are Pro-Reformers Better Performers?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n18, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2002n18
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2002n18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Guyonne Kalb & Jenny Williams, 2002. "Industrial Relations Reform and Business Performance: An Introduction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. 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.
    4. Jorgenson, Dale W & Fraumeni, Barbara M, 1992. " Investment in Education and U.S. Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages 51-70, Supplemen.
    5. Kruse, Douglas L, 1992. "Profit Sharing and Productivity: Microeconomic Evidence from the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 24-36, January.
    6. Hawke, Anne & Wooden, Mark, 1998. "The Changing Face of Australian Industrial Relations: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(224), pages 74-88, March.
    7. Cable, John & Wilson, Nicholas, 1989. "Profit-Sharing and Productivity: An Analysis of UK Engineering Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 366-375, June.
    8. Wadhwani, Sushil & Wall, Martin, 1990. "The Effects of Profit-Sharing on Employment, Wages, Stock Returns and Productivity: Evidence from UK Micro-data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 1-17, March.
    9. Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," Working Papers 93-31, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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    11. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
    12. Mark Wooden & Joanne Loundes & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2002. "Industrial Relations Reform and Business Performance: An Introduction," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Cable, John & Wilson, Nicholas, 1990. "Profit-Sharing and Productivity: Some Further Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 550-555, June.
    14. M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1993. "Innovations and Technological Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Fry & Kelly Jarvis & Joanne Loundes, 2003. "Industrial Relations Reform at the Enterprise and Workplace," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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