Cedefop, Eurofound and IZA Conference on Workplace and Management Practices

  • April 2024

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    The IZA/OECD workshops aim to increase synergies between researchers and OECD experts to promote the societal impact of academic research and the relevance of expertise. These workshops are organized twice a year and focus on topics of particular importance to the economy and society. They bring together researchers from the IZA network, OECD experts and policymakers. They take place by videoconference, over half a day, with presentations by experts, researchers and discussions with policymakers.

Cedefop, Eurofound and IZA Conference on Workplace and Management Practices
August 20, 2020 - August 21, 2020
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.

Two keynote lectures will be delivered by Professor Kathryn Shaw (Stanford University and IZA) and Professor Christopher Warhurst (University of Warwick).

Possible topics might cover (but are not limited to):
  • The effects of the adoption of managerial strategies and workplace practices on wages and other business outcomes
  • The effect direct and indirect employee involvement on business outcomes
  • The interplay between the adoption of general management practices and bundles of workplace practices
  • The relationship between job complexity and job tasks and skills use and the adoption of workplace practices
  • The importance of trust in the workplace
  • The effects of employee involvement on skill utilisation
  • Associations between bundles of workplace practices, skills strategies and innovation
  • Associations between bundles of workplace practices, skills strategies and productivity

The Program Committee will select and invite about 20 papers.

A selection of papers presented at the workshop will be included in a volume of the journal Research in Labor Economics (RLE).
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