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Do Workers Gain by Sharing? Employee Outcomes under Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options

  • Douglas Kruse
  • Richard Freeman
  • Joseph Blasi

This paper examines how shared capitalism compensation systems - those that link employee pay to company performance - affect diverse employee outcomes. It uses two data sets: the national GSS survey that provides a broad representative view of the extent of the programs; and the NBER Shared Capitalism Project surveys of workers in 14 companies that use shared capitalism programs extensively. We find that greater involvement in the programs is generally linked to greater participation in decisions, higher quality supervision and treatment of employees, more training, higher pay and benefits, greater job security, and higher job satisfaction. We also find positive interactions of shared capitalism with high-performance policies in predicting participation in decisions and overall job satisfaction, and negative interactions of shared capitalism with close supervision in affecting almost all of the outcomes. Overall the results support the idea that workers can gain by sharing, but whether this happens is contingent on other workplace policies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14233.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14233.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Publication status: published as Douglas L. Kruse & Richard B. Freeman & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Do Workers Gain by Sharing? Employee Outcomes under Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Broad-Based Stock Options," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 257-289 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14233
Note: LS
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  1. 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.
  2. Nicholas Wilson & Michael J. Peel, 1991. "The Impact on Absenteeism and Quits of Profit-Sharing and other Forms of Employee Participation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 454-468, April.
  3. Michael J. Handel & Maury Gittleman, 2000. "Is there a Wage Payoff to Innovative Work Practices?," Macroeconomics 0004032, EconWPA.
  4. Omar Azfar & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Profit-Sharing, Employment Stability, and Wage Growth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 619-630, April.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Lisa Lynch & Anya Krivelyova, 2003. "How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate," NBER Working Papers 9569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Saul Estrin & Derek C. Jones, 1992. "The Viability of Employee-Owned Firms: Evidence from France," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(2), pages 323-338, January.
  9. Joseph Blasi & Michael Conte & Douglas Kruse, 1996. "Employee Stock Ownership and Corporate Performance among Public Companies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 60-79, October.
  10. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  11. Sarah Brown & John G. Sessions, 2003. "Attitudes, Expectations and Sharing," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(4), pages 543-569, December.
  12. repec:cdl:indrel:146107 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Martin J. Conyon & Richard B. Freeman, 2001. "Shared Modes of Compensation and Firm Performance: UK Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  15. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn & Georgi Tsertsvadze, 2005. "Getting along with Colleagues - Does Profit Sharing Help or Hurt?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 557-573, November.
  16. Stephen P. Keef, 1998. "The Causal Association Between Employee Share Ownership and Attitudes: a Study Based on the Long Framework," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 73-82, 03.
  17. Andrew Pendleton & Nicholas Wilson & Mike Wright, 1998. "The Perception and Effects of Share Ownership: Empirical Evidence from Employee Buy-Outs," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 99-123, 03.
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