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How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate

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  • Sandra E. Black
  • Lisa Lynch
  • Anya Krivelyova

Abstract

Complementing existing work on firm organizational structure and productivity, this paper examines the impact of organizational change on workers. We find evidence that employers do appear to compensate at least some of their workers for engaging in high performance workplace practices. We also find a significant association between high performance workplace practices and increased wage inequality. Finally, we examine the relationship between organizational structure and employment changes and find that some practices, such as self-managed teams, are associated with greater employment reductions, while other practices, such as the percentage of workers involved in job rotation, are associated with lower employment reductions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandra E. Black & Lisa Lynch & Anya Krivelyova, 2003. "How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate," NBER Working Papers 9569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9569
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Daron Acemoglu, 1999. "Changes in Unemployment and Wage Inequality: An Alternative Theory and Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1259-1278, December.
    4. Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "How Computers Have Changed the Wage Structure: Evidence from Microdata, 1984–1989," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 33-60.
    5. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    6. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 613-650.
    7. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    8. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
    9. 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.
    10. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    11. Even Caroli & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Organization, skill and technology: evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," IFS Working Papers W99/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    12. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    13. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    14. 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.
    15. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    16. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    17. John E. DiNardo & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303.
    18. Casey Ichniowski, 1990. "Human Resource Management Systems and the Performance of U.S. Manufacturing Businesses," NBER Working Papers 3449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    20. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2005. "Measuring Organizational Capital in the New Economy," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 205-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Felipe Balmaceda, 2006. "Task-Specific Training and Job Design," Documentos de Trabajo 223, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    3. Maria Guadalupe, 2007. "Product Market Competition, Returns to Skill, and Wage Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 439-474.
    4. Bryson, Alex & Dale-Olsen, Harald & Barth, Erling, 2009. "How does innovation affect worker well-being?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27781, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. 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.
    6. Susan Helper & Morris M. Kleiner, 2009. "International Differences in Lean Production, Productivity, and Employee Attitudes," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, pages 231-261 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Böckerman, Petri & Bryson, Alex & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2012. "Does high involvement management improve worker wellbeing?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 660-680.
    8. Monika Hamori, 2006. "Are franchises bad employers?," Working Papers Economia wp06-11, Instituto de Empresa, Area of Economic Environment.
    9. Uwe Jirjahn & Kornelius Kraft, 2010. "Teamwork And Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion Among Blue-Collar Workers," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 404-429, September.
    10. Crifo, Patricia, 2003. "La modélisation du changement organisationnel : déterminants et conséquences sur le marché du travail," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 79(3), pages 349-365, Septembre.
    11. Tushar Kanti Nandi, 2006. "Employee Participation and Wages: An Empirical Investigation with Selectivity Correction," Department of Economics University of Siena 483, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    12. Wei Chi & Richard B. Freeman & Morris M. Kleiner, 2011. "Adoption and Termination of Employee Involvement Programs," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(1), pages 45-62, March.
    13. Paolo Ghinetti, 2007. "Technology Innovations, Organisational Changes and Firms’ Wages in Italy," Working Papers 111, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    14. Stephanie Lluis, "undated". "Human Resource Management Practices and Wage Dispersion in U.S. Establishments," Working Papers 0603, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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