About the Conference
Firms differ in the ways they organise the workplace. Productivity differences between establishments have been linked to the different managerial practices adopted and types of workplace settings in place (High Performance Workplaces). The bundles of workplace practices adopted by establishments affect the quality of the work environment and the well-being of employees. Good workplaces experience less turnover and higher levels of employee engagement thus providing a link between the quality of the working life and business performance. Depending on their managerial strategy and the workplace practices they have in place, establishments design their jobs differently and have different success in leveraging the skills of their workforce. The mobilisation of human resources requires the right incentives to be in place. These may involve utilising various forms of union and non-union workers’ representation (such as works councils) or various forms of direct employee involvement. In turn, a better use of human resources can lead to efficiency gains through process innovation (for example, less machine downtime, better maintenance, improved work processes and customer care) and through a better exploitation of business opportunities, for example following improvements in product (or service) design, product (or service) innovation, or novel marketing methods. These differences at the workplace level can result in large variations in productivity between establishments, which are highly persistent, and contribute significantly to disparities in economic performance over time and across countries. Differences in productivity across establishments also drive cross-sectional wage inequality.
The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers studying organisational issues from an international comparative perspective. Contributions based on all sources of enterprise data are welcomed.