IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/15087.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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 - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15087
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/126563/1/847026868.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2014. "The Distinct Effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on Firm Organization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(12), pages 2859-2885, December.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    3. Federica Origo & Laura Pagani, 2008. "Workplace flexibility and job satisfaction: some evidence from Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(6), pages 539-566, September.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2015. "Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 165-218.
    5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    6. 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.
    7. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 145-179, March.
    8. Tobias Kretschmer, 2012. "Information and Communication Technologies and Productivity Growth: A Survey of the Literature," OECD Digital Economy Papers 195, OECD Publishing.
    9. Luis Garicano & Paul Heaton, 2010. "Information Technology, Organization, and Productivity in the Public Sector: Evidence from Police Departments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 167-201, January.
    10. David Thesmar & Mathias Thoenig, 2007. "From Flexibility to Insecurity: How Vertical Separation Amplifies Firm-level Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1161-1202, December.
    11. Bertschek, Irene & Niebel, Thomas, 2013. "Mobile and more productive? Firm-level evidence on the productivity effects of mobile internet use at the early stage of diffusion," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-118, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. 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.
    13. Bertschek, Irene & Cerquera, Daniel & Klein, Gordon J., 2011. "More bits - more bucks? Measuring the impact of broadband internet on firm performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-032, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    14. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization? Corrigendum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1195-1196, June.
    15. Irene Bertschek & Ulrich Kaiser, 2004. "Productivity Effects of Organizational Change: Microeconometric Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 394-404, March.
    16. Philippe Askenazy & Eve Caroli, 2006. "Innovative work practices, information technologies and working conditions: evidence for France," EconomiX Working Papers 2006-2, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    17. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Recent Advances in the Empirics of Organizational Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 105-137, September.
    18. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Godart, Olivier & Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife, 2014. "Trust-Based Work-Time and Product Improvements: Evidence from Firm Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 8097, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. 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.
    21. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    22. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
    23. Prasanna Tambe & Lorin M. Hitt & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2012. "The Extroverted Firm: How External Information Practices Affect Innovation and Productivity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 843-859, May.
    24. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    25. Georges Dionne & Benoit Dostie, 2007. "New Evidence on the Determinants of Absenteeism Using Linked Employer-Employee Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(1), pages 108-120, October.
    26. 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.
    27. Sinan Aral & Peter Weill, 2007. "IT Assets, Organizational Capabilities, and Firm Performance: How Resource Allocations and Organizational Differences Explain Performance Variation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5), pages 763-780, October.
    28. Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
    29. Ann Bartel & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2007. "How Does Information Technology Affect Productivity? Plant-Level Comparisons of Product Innovation, Process Improvement, and Worker Skills," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1721-1758.
    30. Alonso, Ricardo & Dessein, Wouter & Matouschek, Niko, 2008. "When does coordination require centralization?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58664, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    31. Beckmann, Michael & Hegedüs, Istvan, 2011. "Trust-based working time and organizational performance: evidence from German establishment-level panel data," Working papers 2011/13, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    32. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7143 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2002. "Upstairs, Downstairs: Computers and Skills on Two Floors of a Large Bank," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 432-447, April.
    34. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
    35. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Management Practices, Work--L ife Balance, and Productivity: A Review of Some Recent Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 457-482, Winter.
    36. Karl Brenke, 2014. "Heimarbeit: immer weniger Menschen in Deutschland gehen ihrem Beruf von zu Hause aus nach," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(8), pages 131-139.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gerten, Elisa & Beckmann, Michael & Bellmann, Lutz, 2018. "Controlling working crowds: The impact of digitalization on worker autonomy and monitoring across hierarchical levels," Working papers 2018/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mobile Information and Communication Technologies; Organizational Practices; Labor Productivity; Complementarity; Firm-Level Data;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15087. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.