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IT is never too late for changes? Analysing the relationship between process innovation, IT and older workers

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  • Bertschek, Irene
  • Meyer, Jenny

Abstract

The paper analyses the relationship between two major challenges firms are faced to: using the potentials of information technologies (IT) as an enabler of process innovations on the one hand and an ageing workforce that might interfere these potentials on the other hand. Econometric results based on firm-level data from the German manufacturing and service sectors reveal that firms with a higher IT-intensity are more likely to introduce new or improved processes. Older workers are harmful to the probability of process innovation based on IT. Leaving the negative relationship between older workers and the probability to innovate unaffected, IT-specific training for older workers is conducive to the realisation of process innovations. Thus, not older workers in general are harmful to firms' innovation capabilities, but older workers who lack the appropriate IT skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertschek, Irene & Meyer, Jenny, 2010. "IT is never too late for changes? Analysing the relationship between process innovation, IT and older workers," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-053, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10053
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/40156/1/635309459.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. O'Mahony, Mary & Peng, Fei, 2009. "Skill bias, age and organizational change," MPRA Paper 38767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sarbu, Miruna, 2013. "Does social software increase labour productivity?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-041, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Jerzy Rosinski, 2012. "Attitudes of the IT staff against employing organization as a challenge for the development of IT businesses (Postawy pracownikow branzy IT wobec zatrudniajacych organizacji jako wyzwanie dla rozwoju ," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 10(38), pages 229-247.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    process innovation; information technology; older workers;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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