Organization and hierarchies

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Do responsible employers attract responsible employees?

The cost of a firm’s commitment to CSR may be offset by its appeal to motivated employees who work harder for lower wages

10.15185/izawol.17 17 Nyborg, K

by Karine Nyborg

Survey and register data indicate that many employees prefer a socially responsible employer and will accept a lower wage to achieve this. Laboratory experiments support the hypothesis that socially responsible groups are more productive than others, partly because they attract cooperative types, partly because initial cooperation is reinforced by group dynamics. Overall, the findings indicate corporate social responsibility may have cost advantages for firms.

How should teams be formed and managed?

How teams are chosen and how they are compensated can determine how successfully they solve problems and benefit the firm

10.15185/izawol.83 83 Owan, H

by Hideo Owan

The keys to effective teamwork in firms are (1) carefully designed team-formation policies that take into account what level of diversity of skills, knowledge, and demographics is desirable and (2) balanced team-based incentives. Employers need to choose policies that maximize the gains from teamwork through task coordination, problem solving, peer monitoring, and peer learning. Unions and labor market regulations may facilitate or hinder firms’ attempts at introducing teams and team-based incentives.

High involvement management and employee well-being

Giving employees more discretion at work can boost their satisfaction and well-being

10.15185/izawol.171 171 Böckerman, P

by Petri Böckerman

A wide range of high involvement management practices, such as self-managed teams, incentive pay schemes, and employer-provided training have been shown to boost firms’ productivity and financial performance. However, less is known about whether these practices, which give employees more discretion and autonomy, also benefit employees. Recent empirical research that aims to account for employee self-selection into firms that apply these practices finds generally positive effects on employee health and other important aspects of well-being at work. However, the effects can differ in different institutional settings.

Do social interactions in the workplace lead to productivity spillover among co-workers?

Peer pressure can affect productivity and explain why workers’ wages and productivity depend on their co-workers’ productivity

10.15185/izawol.314 314 Cornelissen, T

by Thomas Cornelissen

Should one expect a worker’s productivity, and thus wage, to depend on the productivity of his/her co-workers in the same workplace, even if the workers carry out completely independent tasks and do not engage in team work? This may well be the case because social interaction among co-workers can lead to productivity spillover through knowledge spillover or peer pressure. The available empirical evidence suggests that, due to such peer effects, co-worker productivity positively affects a worker’s own productivity and wage, particularly in lower-skilled occupations.

Inequality and informality in transition and emerging countries

Higher inequality decreases capital accumulation and increases informality, which, in turn, raises the income of the poor

10.15185/izawol.325 325 Dell'Anno, R

by Roberto Dell'Anno

Higher inequality reduces capital accumulation and increases the informal economy, which creates additional employment opportunities for low-skilled and deprived people. Despite this positive feedback, informality raises problems for public finances and biases official statistics, reducing the effectiveness of redistributive policies. Policymakers should consider the links between inequality and informality because badly designed informality-reducing policies may increase inequality. However, convincing empirical evidence is still lacking and is usually limited to correlations rather than causal effects.

Are overhead costs a good guide for charitable giving?

Donors rely on overhead costs to evaluate charities, but that reliance creates disincentives for charities to hire skilled workers

10.15185/izawol.329 329 Meer, J

by Jonathan Meer

Charity rating agencies often focus on overhead cost ratios in evaluating charities, and donors appear to be sensitive to these measures when deciding where to donate. Yet, there appears to be a tenuous connection between this widely-used metric and a charity’s effectiveness. There is evidence that a focus on overhead costs leads charities to underinvest in important functions, especially skilled workers. To evaluate policies that regulate overhead costs, it is necessary to examine whether donors care about overhead costs, whether they are good measures of charity effectiveness, and what effects a focus on overhead costs has on charities.