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The purpose of this paper is to take a serious look at the relationship between joint consultation systems at the workplace and employee satisfaction, while at the same…
The purpose of this paper is to take a serious look at the relationship between joint consultation systems at the workplace and employee satisfaction, while at the same time accounting for the (possible) interactions with similar union and management-led high commitment strategies.
Using new, rich data on a representative sample of British workers, the authors identify workplace institutions that are positively associated with employee perceptions of work and relations with management, what in combination the authors call a measure of the “good workplace.” In particular, the authors focus on non-union employee representation at the workplace, in the form of joint consultative committees (JCCs), and the potential moderating effects of union representation and high-involvement human resource (HIHR) practices.
The authors’ findings suggest a re-evaluation of the role that JCCs play in the subjective well-being of workers even after controlling for unions and progressive HR policies. There is no evidence in the authors’ estimates of negative interaction effects (i.e. that unions or HIHR negatively influence the functioning of JCCs with respect to employee satisfaction) or substitution (i.e. that unions or HIHR are substitutes for JCCs when it comes to improving self-reported worker well-being). If anything, there is a significant and positive three-way moderating effect when JCCs are interacted with union representation and high-involvement management.
This is the first time – to the authors’ knowledge – that comprehensive measures of subjective employee well-being are being estimated with respect to the presence of a JCC at the workplace, while controlling for workplace institutions (e.g. union representation and human resource policies) that are themselves designed to involve and communicate with workers.
The literature on the union wage premium is among the most extensive in labour economics but unions’ effects on other aspects of the wage-effort bargain have received much…
The literature on the union wage premium is among the most extensive in labour economics but unions’ effects on other aspects of the wage-effort bargain have received much less attention. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature through a study of the union premium in paid holiday entitlements.
The authors examine the size of the union premium on paid holidays over time, with a particular focus on how the premium was affected by the introduction of a statutory right to paid holidays. The data come from nationally representative surveys of employees and workplaces.
The authors find that the union premium on paid holidays is substantially larger than the union premium on wages. However, the premium fell with the introduction of a statutory minimum entitlement to paid leave.
This is the first study to examine explicitly the interaction between union representation and the law in this setting. The findings indicate the difficulties that unions have faced in protecting the most vulnerable employees in the UK labour market. The authors argue that the supplanting of voluntary joint regulation with statutory regulation is symptomatic of a wider decrease in the regulatory role of unions in the UK.
A small literature has shown that individual wellbeing varies with the price of company stock, but it is unclear whether this is due to wealth effects amongst those…
A small literature has shown that individual wellbeing varies with the price of company stock, but it is unclear whether this is due to wealth effects amongst those holding stock, or more general effects on sentiment, with individuals taking rising stock prices as an indicator of improvements in the economy. The authors contribute to this literature by using two data sets to establish the relationship between share prices on the one hand and worker wellbeing on the other.
First, the authors use over 20 years of British panel data to show that employee happiness and job satisfaction moves with share prices among those whose pay is partly determined by company fortunes. The authors then examine share price movements and employee stock holding in a single corporation and provide suggestive evidence that an increase in the firm’s stock price increases the well-being of those who belong to its employee share purchase plan (ESPP). These effects are greatest among those making the largest monthly contributions to the program who have the most to gain (or lose) from stock price fluctuations. There is also tentative evidence that the well-being effects of a higher share price are larger for those who hold more shares. Taken together these results suggest that, although stock price movements have little effect on well-being in the population at large, the well-being of those holding stock in their own company rises when the price of that stock is higher, suggesting the effects of share prices work at least partly via changes in wealth.
Taken together these results suggest that the wellbeing effects of share prices work at least partly via changes in wealth.
The authors cannot be certain that the job satisfaction movements they see are causally linked to share plan participation and bonus receipt. Future research might fruitfully examine the mechanisms at play, and whether the effects identified here are linked to differences in employee motivation and effort over the business cycle.
Firms may wish to consider the appropriateness of linking their workers’ pay to firm performance through share plans or profit shares to establish whether this improves worker wellbeing.
The utility of workers may increase where firms offer some compensation via a share plan or profit share.
The literature suggests a link between share price movements and worker wellbeing, but the reasons for the link are contested. Using two very different data sources, the authors are able to show that share price increases induce higher worker wellbeing, at least in part, through wealth effects.
We present theoretical and empirical evidence challenging early studies that found unions were detrimental to workplace innovation. Under our theoretical model, unions…
We present theoretical and empirical evidence challenging early studies that found unions were detrimental to workplace innovation. Under our theoretical model, unions prefer product innovation to labor-saving technological process innovation, thus making union wage bargaining regimes more conducive to product innovation than competitive pay setting. We test the theory with population-representative workplace data for Britain and Norway. We find strong support for the notion that local bargaining leads to product innovation, either alone or together with technological innovation.
Ownership of shares by employees in their own firm has grown substantially in the advanced world. In the past two decades, it increased in Britain (Pendleton, Whitfield, &…
Ownership of shares by employees in their own firm has grown substantially in the advanced world. In the past two decades, it increased in Britain (Pendleton, Whitfield, & Bryson, 2009), the United States (Kruse, Freeman, & Blasi, 2010), and in many EU countries (Pendleton, Poutsma, van Ommeren, & Brewster, 2005; European Federation of Employee Share Ownership, 2009). By 2004, one-fifth of British workplaces had share ownership plans covering one-third of private sector employees (Bryson & Freeman, 2010). In the United States in 2006, an estimated 18% of workers had shares in their own firm, some held through collective employee stock ownership plans, some bought through employee stock purchase plans that give employees a discount on shares, and some through their 401k retirement savings Plan money. In addition to owning shares, 9% of US employees had stock options with the firm. Taking account of the overlap, 24% had an ownership stake through shares or options (Kruse, Blasi, & Park, 2010, Table 1).
Mark Klinedinst cuts straight to the chase with a chapter which examines the performance of commercial banks in the United States relative to credit unions which are…
Mark Klinedinst cuts straight to the chase with a chapter which examines the performance of commercial banks in the United States relative to credit unions which are financial cooperatives with democratic structures. Using panel data for the 1990s and early 2000s Mark shows that credit unions are more efficient than banks that are comparable in size, the metric being the assets per dollar of salary managed by the organization. Given that credit unions in the United States have not required a massive taxpayer bailout, the chapter offers food for thought as to what shape financial institutions should take in the United States going forward.
CEO incentive contracts are commonplace in China but their incidence varies significantly across Chinese cities. We show that city and provincial policy experiments help…
CEO incentive contracts are commonplace in China but their incidence varies significantly across Chinese cities. We show that city and provincial policy experiments help explain this variance. We examine the role of two policy experiments: the use of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and the privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The introduction of SEZs is found to be uncorrelated with the prevalence of CEO incentive contracts. However, firms are more likely to use such contracts in areas that saw rapid SOE privatisation, irrespective of the firm’s own current ownership status and irrespective of the size of the SOE sector in the late 1970s. The positive effect of privatisation is robust to various estimation techniques and model specifications. These findings suggest that domestic privatisation policies have been more influential than FDI in driving the expansion of incentive contracts in China.
All that we know about the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) labour market in China comes from the studies of public listed companies and State-owned Enterprises (SOEs). This…
All that we know about the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) labour market in China comes from the studies of public listed companies and State-owned Enterprises (SOEs). This is the first attempt to examine the operation of the CEO labour market across all industrial sectors of the Chinese economy. We find that the influence of the State extends beyond SOEs into many privately owned firms. Government is often involved in CEO appointments in domestic firms and, when this is the case, the CEO has less job autonomy and is less likely to have pay linked to firm performance. Nevertheless, we find that incentive schemes are commonplace and include contracts linking CEO pay directly to firm performance, annual bonus schemes, the posting of performance bonds, and holding company stock. The elasticity of pay with respect to company performance is one or more in two-fifths of the cases where CEOs have performance contracts, suggesting many face high-powered incentives. We also show that State-owned and domestic privately owned firms are more likely than foreign-owned firms to use incentive contracts.