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Skills, technology and organisational innovation in Spanish firms

Alberto Bayo‐Moriones (Department of Business Administration, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain)
Margarita Billón (Department of Economic Development, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Fernando Lera‐López (Department of Economics, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 9 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this research is to provide empirical evidence on the relationships among new technologies, innovative work practices and upskilling in the Spanish case. Design/methodology/approach – Using detailed plant‐level data from a survey of Spanish manufacturing firms, we apply estimation methods, such as tobit and ordered probit models, to test the hypothesis that the use of ICT, AMT, and innovative work practices is positively related to upskilling. Findings – As available empirical evidence shows for other countries, we have found that AMT, ICT and innovative work practices are positively related to skills, although they have different effects on workforce composition and training. We have also found several significant effects of the interactive terms of the three technologies and work practices considered on the selected variables of upskilling. Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is the lack of time series data. Cross‐sectional data do not allow the use of lagged variables and make it impossible to analyse the evolution of the adoption of new technologies and work practices by firms and their dynamic effects on skills, or to study causalities among variables. In addition, the study relates only to manufacturing industries. Further research should consider expanding the analysis to the service sector and studying possible complementarities between technology and work practices, in terms of labor cost savings. Originality/value – This paper offers empirical evidence for Spain on the relationship between new technologies, innovative work practices and upskilling considered jointly. It analyses two different technologies: ICT and AMT. The paper also focuses on different dimensions of upskilling.

Keywords

Citation

Bayo‐Moriones, A., Billón, M. and Lera‐López, F. (2008), "Skills, technology and organisational innovation in Spanish firms", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 122-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437720810872695

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited