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Mobile information and communication technologies, flexible work organization and labor productivity: Firm-level evidence

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  • Viete, Steffen
  • Erdsiek, Daniel

Abstract

Mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) have started to diffuse rapidly in the business sector. This study tests for the complementarity between the use of mobile ICT and organizational practices providing workplace flexibility. We hypothesize that mobile ICT can create value if organizational practices grant employees more autonomy over when, where and how to perform work-related tasks. Our data set comprises 1132 German service firms and provides information on the share of employees that have been equipped with mobile devices which allow for wireless internet access, such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Workplace flexibility is measured in terms of firms' use of working from home arrangements, working time accounts, and trust-based working time. Within a production function framework, we find that the use of mobile ICT is associated with a productivity premium only in firms granting workplace flexibility by means of trust-based working time. Robustness checks suggest that our results are not driven by ICT-skill complementarity or by complementarity of mobile ICT with multiple alternative modern management practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Viete, Steffen & Erdsiek, Daniel, 2015. "Mobile information and communication technologies, flexible work organization and labor productivity: Firm-level evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-087, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15087
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    Cited by:

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    2. Gerten Elisa & Beckmann Michael & Bellmann Lutz, 2019. "Controlling Working Crowds: The Impact of Digitalization on Worker Autonomy and Monitoring Across Hierarchical Levels," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(3), pages 441-481, June.
    3. Bertschek, Irene & Arnold, Daniel & Erdsiek, Daniel & Nicolay, Katharina & Bieber, Daniel & Kreutzer, Elena, 2018. "Arbeiten 4.0 - Chancen und Herausforderungen für Luxemburg. Studie im Auftrag von Arbeitsministerium, Handelskammer, Arbeitnehmerkammer Luxemburg," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 181909.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile Information and Communication Technologies; Organizational Practices; Labor Productivity; Complementarity; Firm-Level Data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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