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Creating a Bigger Pie? The Effects of Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Stock Options on Workplace Performance

  • Joseph R. Blasi
  • Richard B. Freeman
  • Chris Mackin
  • Douglas L. Kruse

This paper uses data from NBER surveys of over 40,000 employees in hundreds of facilities in 14 firms and from employees on the 2002 and 2006 General Social Surveys to explore how shared compensation affects turnover, absenteeism, loyalty, worker effort, and other outcomes affecting workplace performance. The empirical analysis shows that shared capitalism has beneficial effects on all outcomes save for absenteeism and that it has its strongest effects on turnover, loyalty, and worker effort when it is combined with: a) high-performance work policies (employee involvement, training, and job security), b) low levels of supervision, and c) fixed wages that are at or above market level. Most workers report that cash incentives, stock options, ESOP stock, and ESPP participation motivate them to work harder. The interaction of the effects of shared capitalism with other corporate policies suggests that the various shared capitalist and other policies may operate through a latent variable, "corporate culture".

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14230.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: published as Joseph R. Blasi & Richard B. Freeman & Christopher Mackin & Douglas L. Kruse, 2010. "Creating a Bigger Pie? The Effects of Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Stock Options on Workplace Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 139-165 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14230
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  1. Martin J. Conyon & Richard Freeman, 2002. "Shared Modes of Compensation and Firm Performance: UK Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp0560, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  8. James C. Sesil & Maya K. Kroumova & Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse, 2002. "Broad-based Employee Stock Options in US 'New Economy' Firms," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 273-294, 06.
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  15. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-105, December.
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  17. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  18. Chris Doucouliagos, 1995. "Worker Participation and Productivity in Labor-Managed and Participatory Capitalist Firms: A Meta-Analysis," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(1), pages 58-77, October.
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  21. Daniel G. Hansen, 1997. "Worker Performance and Group Incentives: A Case Study," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(1), pages 37-49, October.
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