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Works Councils, Training Activities and Innovation: A Study of German Firms

Author

Listed:
  • Uwe Cantner

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Wolfgang Gerstlberger

    () (University of Southern Denmark, Department of Marketing and Management)

  • Ipsita Roy

    () (Graduate College "The Economics of Innovative Change" (DFG-GK-1411), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Building on the notion of general and specific human capital proposed by Becker (1962), the paper highlights the importance of employee training practices undertaken in firms as an important tool for human resource and knowledge management and focuses on the role of works councils as a specific form of employee representation system therein. Using establishment data on various aspects of training practices and innovation activities in Germany, the paper examines the degree, type and extent to which establishments invest in employee training and finds significant differences for firms with and without works councils. Specifically, findings suggest that works councils are related more with the provision of generalized training rather than in firm-specific technical training of employees. In addition, the paper finds strong support for using works councils as an instrument for a firm's total training activities that correlate with innovation, and weak support when we consider only generalized training and innovation. Finally, no significant relation is found between training practices and radical innovativeness of firms after accounting for reverse causality.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Cantner & Wolfgang Gerstlberger & Ipsita Roy, 2014. "Works Councils, Training Activities and Innovation: A Study of German Firms," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-006, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2014-006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
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    3. Lorenz Blume & Wolfgang Gerstlberger, 2007. "Determinanten betrieblicher Innovation: Partizipation von Beschaeftigten als vernachlaessigter Einflussfaktor," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 14(3), pages 223-244.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    employee training practices; knowledge management; generalized training; firm-specific technical training; works councils; innovation; radical innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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