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The "suite" smell of success: complementary personnel practices and firm performance

How do personnel practices affect firm performance?To examine this issue we use a panel of over 1,500 New Zealand firms, drawn from a diverse range of industries.The panel comprises respondents to official surveys of management practices in 2001 and 2005. These surveys ask a wide range of comparable qualitative questions covering organisational practices including human resource management (HRM). To this panel, we link longitudinal firm performance data from Statistics New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database. We find that suites of complementary HRM-related practices impact positively on firm productivity and wages; effects on employee turnover depend on the practices considered.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2009/13.

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Length: 38 p
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2009/13
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  1. Nickell, Stephen & Nicolitsas, Daphne & Patterson, Malcolm, 2001. " Does Doing Badly Encourage Management Innovation?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 5-28, February.
  2. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2007. "Personnel Economics: The Economist's View of Human Resources," NBER Working Papers 13653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Neumark & Peter Cappelli, 1999. "Do "High Performance" Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 7374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. S. Black & L. Lynch, 1997. "How to compete: the impact of workplace practices and information technology on productivity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20298, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Dean Hyslop & Suresh Yahanpath, 2005. "Income Growth and Earnings Variations in New Zealand, 1998—2004," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/11, New Zealand Treasury.
  9. Fabling, Richard, 2007. "Just How Innovative are New Zealand Firms? Quantifying & Relating Organisational and Marketing Innovation to Traditional Science & Technology Indicators," Occasional Papers 07/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  10. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-291, June.
  11. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-17, August.
  12. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  13. Arthur Grimes & Cleo Ren & Philip Stevens, 2009. "The Need for Speed: Impacts of Internet Connectivity on Firm Productivity," Working Papers 09_15, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  14. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur, 2007. "HR Practices and Firm Performance: What Matters and Who Does It?," Occasional Papers 07/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  15. Richard B. Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2007. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 383-399, December.
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  17. Richard Fabling, 2009. "A Rough Guide to New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-103, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  18. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Paul Osterman, 2000. "Work reorganization in an era of restructuring: Trends in diffusion and effects on employee welfare," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 179-196, January.
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  22. Jeffrey Pfeffer, 2007. "Human Resources from an Organizational Behavior Perspective: Some Paradoxes Explained," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 115-134, Fall.
  23. John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
  24. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
  25. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
  27. Abowd, John M. & Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia & McKinney, Kevin Lee & Sandusky, L. Kristin, 2007. "Technology and the Demand for Skill: An Analysis of Within and Between Firm Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 2707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. John Godard, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 349-378, 06.
  29. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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