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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Chor Foon Tang

The aim of this study is to empirically investigate the effect of real wages on labour productivity in Malaysia's manufacturing sector using annual data from 1980 to 2009.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to empirically investigate the effect of real wages on labour productivity in Malaysia's manufacturing sector using annual data from 1980 to 2009.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the Johansen cointegration test to examine the presence of long‐run equilibrium relationship between labour productivity and real wages in Malaysia. In addition, the Granger causality test within the vector error‐correction model (VECM) is used to ascertain the direction of causality between the variables of interest.

Findings

The Johansen test suggests that real wages and labour productivity are cointegrated. Moreover, labour productivity and real wages have a quadratic relationship (i.e. inverted U‐shaped curve) instead of linear relationship. Hence, the effect of real wages on labour productivity is non‐monotonic. Furthermore, the Granger causality test indicates that real wages and labour productivity are bilateral causality in nature.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to the labour productivity in the manufacturing sector only.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates that the effect of real wages on labour productivity is non‐monotonic; hence increase in real wages alone does not always enhance labour productivity. Thus, other incentives should be offered to stimulate long‐term labour productivity growth in Malaysia.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2015

Jeff E. Biddle

The modern concept of labor hoarding emerged in early 1960s, and soon became a standard part of mainstream economists’ explanation of the working of labor markets. The…

Abstract

The modern concept of labor hoarding emerged in early 1960s, and soon became a standard part of mainstream economists’ explanation of the working of labor markets. The concept represents the convergence of three important elements: an empirical finding that labor productivity was procyclical; a framing of this finding as a “puzzle” or anomaly for the basic neoclassical theory of the firm, and a proposed resolution of the puzzle based on optimizing behavior of the firm in the presence of costs of hiring, firing, and training workers. This paper recounts the history of each of these elements, and how they were woven together into the labor hoarding concept. Each history involves people associated with various research traditions and motivated by an array of questions, many of which were unrelated to the questions that the modern labor hoarding concept was ultimately created to address.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-857-1

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Farnad Nasirzadeh, H.M. Dipu Kabir, Mahmood Akbari, Abbas Khosravi, Saeid Nahavandi and David G. Carmichael

This study aims to propose the adoption of artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction intervals (PIs) to give more reliable prediction of labour productivity using…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose the adoption of artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction intervals (PIs) to give more reliable prediction of labour productivity using historical data.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the proposed PI method, various sources of uncertainty affecting predictions can be accounted for, and a PI is proposed instead of a less reliable single-point estimate. The proposed PI consists of a lower and upper bound in which the realization of the predicted variable, namely, labour productivity, is anticipated to fall with a defined probability and represented in terms of a confidence level (CL).

Findings

The proposed PI method is implemented on a case study project to predict labour productivity. The quality of the generated PIs for the labour productivity is investigated at three confidence levels. The results show that the proposed method can predict the value of labour productivity efficiently.

Practical implications

This study is the first attempt in construction management to undertake a shift from deterministic point predictions to interval forecasts to improve the reliability of predictions. The proposed PI method will help project managers obtain accurate and credible predictions of labour productivity using historical data. With a better understanding of future outcomes, project managers can adopt appropriate improvement strategies to enhance labour productivity before commencing a project.

Originality/value

Point predictions provided by traditional deterministic ANN-based forecasting methodologies may be unreliable due to the different sources of uncertainty affecting predictions. The current study proposes ANN-based PIs as an alternative and robust tool to give a more reliable prediction of labour productivity using historical data. Using the proposed method, various sources of uncertainty affecting the predictions are accounted for, and a PI is proposed instead of a less reliable single point estimate.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2018

Junqing Yang and Hong Chen

This paper aims to examine whether rewards incentives of non-state-owned enterprises can settle the matters of motivation lack, strained labor relations and frequent labor

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether rewards incentives of non-state-owned enterprises can settle the matters of motivation lack, strained labor relations and frequent labor-capital conflicts and realize co-win cooperation of workers, enterprises and the society.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the data of 1,617 questionnaires in 257 enterprises, this research reveals the total rewards factors that affect the labor motivation of non-stated-owned enterprises in China and improve labor productivity by adopting the hierarchical linear regression analysis and multi-group path analysis, and establishes a new model of win-win cooperation between labor and capital and the society through the incentive function of these elements by stimulating the enthusiasm of workers, improving labor productivity, increasing profits, expanding capital accumulation and absorbing labor force.

Findings

The authors have discovered that in general the main incentives that stimulate the enthusiasm of employees are the factors of performance and recognition and development and career opportunity in total rewards. The factor of benefits also has a significant incentive effect on employees in the western area of China, migrant workers with lower education and male employees, but negative effect on the post-1990s employees in non-state-owned enterprises. However, the compensation factor should be used with caution when encouraging employees in eastern region and the post-1980s. The total rewards factors of development and career opportunities and the performance and the recognition and benefits should be used to motivate workers to improve labor productivity, increase corporate profits and absorb more labor force, which is a long-term solution to win-win cooperation between labor and capital and social sustainable development. It is an important way to increase profits and absorb more labor force by increasing employee’s human capital investment and improving labor proficiency of employees under age 45. The conclusions provide new effective management methods for non-state-owned enterprises in China.

Practical implications

As a consequence, it will encourage employees to improve labor productivity and increase profits and thus absorb more labor force, if we use these factors of performance and recognition, development and career opportunity and benefits integratedly, we will find a permanent solution that the two sides of the labor and management and the society enjoy a win-win cooperation.

Originality/value

The research will provide theoretical basis for non-state-owned enterprises to apply a new and effective management style so that we can establish a win-win cooperation between the labor and management. What’s more, the research will develop the Dual Economy Theory of Lewis and the employment theory of Keynes and will also provide a theoretical basis for the realization of Taylor’s harmonious industrial relations.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

David Macarov

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible…

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1580

Abstract

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible alternatives. We need the vision and the courage to aim for the highest level of technology attainable for the widest possible use in both industry and services. We need financial arrangements that will encourage people to invent themselves out of work. Our goal, the article argues, must be the reduction of human labour to the greatest extent possible, to free people for more enjoyable, creative, human activities.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Naveed Iqbal, Mansoor Ahmad, Matthew M.C. Allen and Muhammad Mustafa Raziq

Drawing on data from a unique, large-scale survey, the purpose of this paper is to examine the links between e-HRM and perceived labour productivity both directly and…

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1717

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on data from a unique, large-scale survey, the purpose of this paper is to examine the links between e-HRM and perceived labour productivity both directly and through the mediating role of HR service quality amongst commercial-bank workplaces in Pakistan, many of which have introduced e-HRM.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use partial least squares structural equation modelling to examine the direct links between e-HRM and productivity as well as the mediated links between e-HRM, perceived HR service quality and productivity.

Findings

The authors show that e-HRM practices have a statistically significant, positive effect on managers’ perceptions of labour productivity. The authors also reveal that e-HRM practices influence the quality of HR service, and that the quality of HR services fully mediates the relationship between e-HRM practices and managers’ perceptions of labour productivity.

Practical implications

The results highlight the importance of designing and implementing e-HRM systems so that they support organisation workflow and enable workers to carry out a range of HR and non-HR activities more efficiently. In particular, this study suggests that managers should focus on how e-HRM impacts on HR service quality in a holistic way, as this is the “route” via which e-HRM can improve labour productivity.

Originality/value

Existing research has demonstrated a link between e-HRM and the quality of HR services; however, these studies downplay the potential impact of e-HRM on labour productivity, a key organisational outcome and one that e-HRM aims to improve. This study contributes to the HRM literature by identifying how e-HRM can improve labour productivity by enhancing the perceived HR service quality. This study, therefore, provides the basis for future theory developments in this area.

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Lara Lebedinski and Vincent Vandenberghe

There is plenty of individual-level evidence, based on the estimation of Mincerian equations, showing that better-educated individuals earn more. This is usually…

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1226

Abstract

Purpose

There is plenty of individual-level evidence, based on the estimation of Mincerian equations, showing that better-educated individuals earn more. This is usually interpreted as a proof that education raises labour productivity. Some macroeconomists, analysing cross-country time series, also support the idea that the continuous expansion of education has contributed positively to growth. Surprisingly, most economists with an interest in human capital have neglected the level of the firm to study the education-productivity-wage nexus. And the few published works considering firm-level evidence are lacking a proper strategy to cope with the endogeneity problem inherent to the estimation production and wage functions. The purpose of this paper is to aim at providing estimates of the causal effect of education on productivity and wage labour costs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper taps into a rich, firm-level, Belgian panel database that contains information on productivity, labour cost and the workforce’s educational attainment to deliver estimates of the causal effect of education on productivity and wage/labour costs. Therefore, it exclusively resorts to within firm changes to deal with time-invariant heterogeneity bias. What is more, it addresses the risk of simultaneity bias (endogeneity of firms’ education-mix choices in the short run) using the structural approach suggested by Ackerberg et al. (2006), alongside more traditional system-GMM methods (Blundell and Bond, 1998) where lagged values of labour inputs are used as instruments.

Findings

Results suggest that human capital, in particular larger shares of university-educated workers inside firms, translate into significantly higher firm-level labour productivity, and that labour costs are relatively well aligned on education-driven labour productivity differences. In other words, the authors find evidence that the Mincerian relationship between education and individual wages is driven by a strong positive link between education and firm-level productivity.

Originality/value

Surprisingly, most economists with an interest in human capital have neglected the level of the firm to study the education-productivity-pay nexus. Other characteristics of the workforce, like gender or age have been much more investigated at the level of the firm by industrial or labour economists (Hellerstein et al., 1999; Aubert and Crépon, 2003; Hellerstein and Neumark, 2007; Vandenberghe, 2011a, b, 2012; Rigo et al., 2012; Dostie, 2011; van Ours and Stoeldraijer, 2011). At present, the small literature based on firm-level evidence provides some suggestive evidence of the link between education, productivity and pay at the level of firms. Examples are Hægeland and Klette (1999); Haltiwanger et al. (1999). Other notable papers examining a similar question are Galindo-Rueda and Haskel (2005), Prskawetz et al. (2007) and Turcotte and Whewell Rennison (2004). But, despite offering plausible and intuitive results, many of the above studies essentially rely on cross-sectional evidence and most of them do not tackle the two crucial aspects of the endogeneity problem affecting the estimation of production and wage functions (Griliches and Mairesse, 1995): first, heterogeneity bias (unobserved time-invariant determinants of firms’ productivity that may be correlated to the workforce structure) and second, simultaneity bias (endogeneity in input choice, in the short-run, that includes the workforce mix of the firm). While the authors know that labour productivity is highly heterogeneous across firms (Syverson, 2011), only Haltiwanger et al. (1999) control for firm level-unobservables using firm-fixed effects. The problem of simultaneity has also generally been overlooked. Certain short-term productivity shocks affecting the choice of labour inputs, can be anticipated by the firms and influence their employment decision and thus the workforce mix. Yet these shocks and the resulting decisions by firms’ manager are unobservable by the econometrician. Hægeland and Klette (1999) try to solve this problem by proxying productivity shocks with intermediate goods, but their methodology inspired by Levinsohn and Petrin (2003) suffers from serious identification issues due to collinearity between labour and intermediate goods (Ackerberg et al., 2006).

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Chukwuka Christian Ohueri, Wallace Imoudu Enegbuma, Ngie Hing Wong, Kuok King Kuok and Russell Kenley

The purpose of this paper is to develop a motivation framework that will enhance labour productivity for Iskandar Malaysia (IM) construction projects. The vision of IM…

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1026

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a motivation framework that will enhance labour productivity for Iskandar Malaysia (IM) construction projects. The vision of IM development corridor is to become Southern Peninsular Malaysia’s most developed region by the year 2025. IM cannot realise this foresight without effective labour productivity. Previous studies have reported that the labour productivity of IM construction projects was six times lower than the labour productivity of Singapore construction projects, due to lack of motivation among IM labourers, and a shortage of local skilled labour. Therefore, there is a need to study how to motivate IM construction labourers, so as to increase their productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research method was used to collect data from IM construction skilled labourers and construction professionals, using two sets of questionnaire. The respondents were selected using a purposive sampling technique. In total, 40 skilled labourers and 50 construction professionals responded to the questionnaire survey, and the data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science software (version 22).

Findings

The analysis revealed the major factors that motivate labourers participating in IM construction projects. The factors were ranked hierarchically using Relative Importance Index (RII) and the outcome of the ranking indicated that effective management, viable construction practices, financial incentives, continuous training and development, and safe working environment were the most significant motivation strategies that positively influence IM construction labourers.

Originality/value

The study developed and validated a framework that can be used to boost the morale of IM construction labourers, so that their productivity can be increased. Implementation of the established motivation framework will also lead to career progression of IM construction labourers, based on the training elements in the framework. This career prospect will attract local skilled labourers to participate in IM construction projects.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 23 December 2021

Guzel Salimova, Alisa Ableeva, Aygul Galimova, Ramzilya Bakirova, Tatiana Lubova, Aidar Sharafutdinov and Irek Araslanbaev

Using the example of Russia, this paper studied and analyzed productivity of the labor force in agriculture as an important industry for ensuring the sustainable…

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30

Abstract

Purpose

Using the example of Russia, this paper studied and analyzed productivity of the labor force in agriculture as an important industry for ensuring the sustainable development of the country.

Design/methodology/approach

At the first examination stage, the time series of data on labor productivity and real wages in agri-food companies were examined as modern works on the matter tend to highlight the relationship between productivity and remuneration insufficiently. At the second stage, labor productivity was assessed through the rate of change in the share of wages in the gross domestic product. At the last stage, an applied model of the relationship between labor productivity in agriculture and various impact factors was developed.

Findings

It showed that the efficiency of the labor force in the considered area depends greatly on technical equipment and crop yield. Besides, the study findings revealed that the traditional economic relationship between productivity and wages is invalid in the examined regions of Russia. There is a significant reserve for increasing labor productivity by providing additional motivation for employees.

Originality/value

The successful development of agricultural production can be achieved by implementing innovations, facilitating digitalization, attracting investments, increasing the level of interest of those employed in labor results and producing high-quality goods.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Sangjun Jeong

This paper explores the pattern of technical change in the Korean economy from 1970 to 2013 and investigates its determinants. We use the Classical growth-distribution…

Abstract

This paper explores the pattern of technical change in the Korean economy from 1970 to 2013 and investigates its determinants. We use the Classical growth-distribution schedule to show that the labor-saving and capital-using pattern has predominated. For the rationale behind this Marx-biased technical change, we focus on the relationship between technical change and real wage growth via the evolution of labor and capital productivity, and verify the historical direction of technical change against the rise and fall of the working class. Furthermore, we find that the deviation during the post-crisis period from the long-run trend of Marx-biased technical change is not attributable to the vitality of new technological innovations, but rather the reflection of class dynamics over extracting productivity under weaker capital deepening. The results suggest that the recent deterioration of labor share and labor unions in Korea is closely associated with low incentive for technological progress, which contributes to prolonged stagnation.

Details

Return of Marxian Macro-Dynamics in East Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-477-4

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