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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Thomas Zwick

This paper shows that employee resistance against innovations can be explained by the sunk costs nature of human capital investments induced by innovations. Therefore…

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6030

Abstract

This paper shows that employee resistance against innovations can be explained by the sunk costs nature of human capital investments induced by innovations. Therefore, internal resistance against innovations is more likely if it is uncertain that the employees can reap the benefits of these investments. This is, for example, the case if employment in the firm is bound to decrease or if further innovations are planned. These theoretical predictions are confirmed empirically in a multi‐variate analysis. A representative German firm data set for the service sector is used for the estimation.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2012

Thomas Zwick

Why do employers pay seniority wages? The principal-agent theory stresses that employers might want to retain and motivate their employees by paying them a low entry wage…

Abstract

Why do employers pay seniority wages? The principal-agent theory stresses that employers might want to retain and motivate their employees by paying them a low entry wage and higher wage increases with longer tenure rather than productivity development. This contribution tests the empirical relevance of this seniority wage interpretation on the basis of German linked employer–employee panel data. It focuses on the role of works councils and unions. The theoretical hypotheses that predict a positive impact of both forms of employee participation (and their interaction) are confirmed. The chapter also gives an outlook on management options when seniority wages are no longer sustainable in the face of ageing workforces.

Details

Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-221-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Thomas Zwick

Employees older than 55 years of age have a much lower share in training than other employees. The purpose of this paper is to propose that one of the reasons for this…

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9241

Abstract

Purpose

Employees older than 55 years of age have a much lower share in training than other employees. The purpose of this paper is to propose that one of the reasons for this phenomenon that has not been taken into account so far is that their training is less effective.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper shows that training of older employees indeed is less effective in the self-assessment of training participants. Training effectiveness is measured with respect to key dimensions such as career development, earnings, adoption of new skills, flexibility or job security. Besides age a broad range of explanatory variables is included as covariates in a large linked employer-employee data set.

Findings

The paper finds that main reason for the differences in training effectiveness during the life cycle is that firms do not take into account differences in training motivation. Older employees get higher returns from informal and directly relevant training and from training contents that can be mainly tackled by crystallised abilities. Training incidence in the more effective training forms is, however, not higher for older employees. Given that other decisive variables on self-assessed effectiveness such as training duration, financing and initiative are not sensitive to age, the wrong allocation of training contents and training forms therefore is the critical explanation for the lower effectiveness of training.

Originality/value

This paper therefore shows to human resource managers why old employees rate training effectiveness lower and indicates what can be done in order to improve training effectiveness of old employees. It uses a large and detailed data set entailing more than 6,000 employees from about 150 establishments.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Wendy Smits and Thomas Zwick

This paper analyses why in Germany and The Netherlands the share of apprentices in the business service sector is lower than in other economic sectors. A theoretical…

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919

Abstract

This paper analyses why in Germany and The Netherlands the share of apprentices in the business service sector is lower than in other economic sectors. A theoretical introduction surveys the potential reasons that could be responsible for this. The subsequent empirical analysis shows that the level of skill apprentices gain is the main explanation for the relatively low supply of apprenticeships in German business service enterprises. In The Netherlands, the option to hire skilled employees from full‐time schools instead of training apprentices seems to be crucial. For these reasons, this paper proposes to offer obligatory extra formal training in areas such as IT skills and foreign languages for the apprentices in business service firms in Germany in order to increase the attractiveness of the dual apprenticeship system for prospective apprentices as well as business service firms.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2007

Christoph Rappe and Thomas Zwick

This paper aims to analyze the leadership role of first‐line managers in self‐managed production units, particularly the existence, relevance and closability of competence gaps.

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2549

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the leadership role of first‐line managers in self‐managed production units, particularly the existence, relevance and closability of competence gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

Self‐assessments on competence and other variables shed light on the first‐line managers' situation; a quasi‐experiment investigates the effects of a leadership development programme. The sample consisted of 38 lower‐level managers in a typical manufacturing plant in Germany that had recently introduced a teamwork structure.

Findings

Results indicate that the production unit managers report difficulties with their new leadership‐related tasks. Higher levels of leadership competence are found to be associated with better perceived acceptance as a manager by superiors, but not by subordinates, better interaction with both subordinates and superiors, and with higher job satisfaction. Finally, a quasi‐experiment shows that a combination of workshops and individual coaching has measurable positive effects on reported leadership competencies and partly improves identification with the managerial role.

Research limitations/implications

The causality of the relationships requires further research, ideally with larger samples, as does the partner‐oriented leadership style that tends to be practiced by the first‐line managers.

Practical implications

The findings imply that it is advisable to improve front‐line managers' leadership competencies and identity, and that leadership development can contribute to closing the competence gaps.

Originality/value

This paper closes a research gap regarding a key position in modern work organizations by using a new format of self‐assessments for a more valid measurement of competencies.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2002

Andries De Grip, Jasper Van Loo and Ken Mayhew

Abstract

Details

The Economics of Skills Obsolescence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-960-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Rita Asplund and Wiemer Salverda

This special issue of the International Journal of Manpower aims to make a contribution to broadening our limited understanding of the role and impact of employer‐provided…

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2027

Abstract

This special issue of the International Journal of Manpower aims to make a contribution to broadening our limited understanding of the role and impact of employer‐provided training for low‐skilled service sector workers. It brings together seven of the papers that were presented at the international conference “Adapting Education and Training for the Enhancement of Low‐Skilled Jobs” held at Helsinki in May 2002. The papers are situated at the crossroads where three different strands of research and policymaking meet: the training of the low skilled, the system of vocational training and the role of training for the service sector. The contributions cover an interesting variety of European countries: Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Spain and the UK, with diverging levels of low‐skilled (un)employment, vocational training and service‐sector employment.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

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182

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2012

Abstract

Details

Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-221-9

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Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2013

Abstract

Details

New Analyses of Worker Well-Being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-056-7

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