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Adverse Workplace Conditions, High-Involvement Work Practices and Labor Turnover: Evidence from Danish Linked Employer-Employee Data

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  • Cottini, Elena

    () (University of Milan)

  • Kato, Takao

    () (Colgate University)

  • Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C.

    () (Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the emerging strand of the empirical literature that takes advantage of new data on workplace-specific job attributes and voluntary employee turnover to shed fresh insights on the relationship between employee turnover, adverse workplace conditions and HRM environments. We find evidence that workers in hazardous workplace conditions are indeed more likely to separate from their current employers voluntarily while High-Involvement Work Practices (HIWPs) reduces employee turnover. Specifically, exposing a worker to physical hazards such as loud noise, vibration or poor lighting will lead to a 3 percentage point increase in the probability of turnover from the average turnover rate of 18 percent; working in a fixed night shift will result in an 11 percentage point jump in the turnover probability, and having an unsupportive boss will lead to a 5 percentage point increase. The effect of HIWPs is modest yet hardly negligible with a 4 percentage point reduction in the turnover probability from having voice in the workplace. Furthermore the turnover-increasing effect of physical hazards is found to be significantly reduced by the presence of strong information sharing whereas the adverse effect on turnover of the use of fixed night shift is also found to be significantly mitigated by the authority delegation to workers by management. As such, our evidence lends support to those who advocate the use of HIWPs for those firms with employee turnover problems due to hazardous workplace conditions. Finally, our logit analysis of the 5-year odds of improving workplace conditions suggests that the worker exposed to adverse workplace conditions can improve her long-term odds of rectifying such workplace adversities significantly by separating from the firm voluntarily. Voluntary turnover appears to be a rational worker response to adverse workplace conditions, and unless the firm alleviates its adverse workplace conditions directly or mitigates their effects on voluntary turnover through HIWPs, workers exposed to adverse workplace conditions will likely continue to take the exit option.

Suggested Citation

  • Cottini, Elena & Kato, Takao & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2009. "Adverse Workplace Conditions, High-Involvement Work Practices and Labor Turnover: Evidence from Danish Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4587, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4587
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno C. Tortia, 2014. "A �human growth� perspective on organizational resources, worker satisfaction and firm performance," Euricse Working Papers 1466, Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises).
    2. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Antti Kauhanen & Mari Kangasniemi, 2016. "Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-16, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Zwick, Thomas & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2013. "Poaching and firm-sponsored training: First clean evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-037, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Eriksson, Tor & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2012. "Respect and relational contracts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 286-298.
    5. Corinne Perraudin & Héloïse Petit, & Antoine Rebérioux, 2013. "Worker Information and Firm Disclosure Analysis on French Linked Employer–Employee Data," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 134-161, January.
    6. Bednar, Steven & Gicheva, Dora, 2016. "Career Implications of Having a Female-Friendly Supervisor," UNCG Economics Working Papers 16-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    7. Elizabeth Chinomona & Tebogo Mofokeng, 2015. "The Influence Of Workplace Condition And Employee Satisfaction On Employee Commitment In South African," Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS), , vol. 4(1), pages 649-663, January.
    8. Jens Mohrenweiser & Gabriele Wydra-Somaggio & Thomas Zwick, 2017. "Information Advantages of Training Employers Despite Credible Training Certificates," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0121, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Apr 2017.
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    10. Mohrenweiser, Jens & Wydra-Sommaggio, Gaby & Zwick, Thomas, 2015. "Work-related ability as source of information advantages of training employers," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-057, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Bernhard Boockmann & Jan Fries & Christian Göbel, 2012. "Specific Measures for Older Employees and Late Career Employment," IAW Discussion Papers 89, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    12. Broszeit, Sandra & Laible, Marie-Christine, 2017. "Examining the link between health measures, management practices and establishment performance," IAB Discussion Paper 201726, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    13. repec:spr:jlabrs:v:50:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12651-017-0220-x is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno C. Tortia, 2012. "A �Human Growth� Perspective on Organizational Resources and Firm Performance," Department of Economics Working Papers 1209, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    15. Ray Markey & Katherine Ravenswood & Don Webber, 2012. "The impact of the quality of the work environment on employees’ intention to quit," Working Papers 20121221, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    16. Jones, Derek C. & Kalmi, Panu & Kato, Takao & Mäkinen, Mikko, 2017. "Worker separation under performance pay : Empirical evidence from Finland," Research Discussion Papers 33/2017, Bank of Finland.
    17. Elizabeth Chinomona & Tebogo Mofokeng, 2015. "The influence of workplace condition and employee satisfaction on employee committee in South African Companies," Journal of Business & Management (COES&RJ-JBM), , vol. 3(2), pages 356-369, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    employee turnover; workplace conditions; human resource management; high-involvement work system; high-performance work system;

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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