Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Innovative Workplaces and Their Workers. (Precis)

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Innovative Workplaces and Their Workers. (Precis)

Article excerpt

One response to intense economic competition has been to adopt innovative practices in the workplace with a view toward increasing the performance of the workforce. Such "high-performance workplace" innovations might include, either singly or, more effectively, in combination, such practices as job rotation, self-managed teams, extensive worker training, widespread diffusion of computer technologies, or employee participation in problem-solving groups. While some research has suggested that such practices can increase the productivity of establishments, Sandra E. Black, Lisa M. Lynch, and Anya Krivelyova investigate the impact of these practices on the workers.

They make three sets of findings in their recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (no. 9569), "How Workers Fare When Employers Innovate." First, at least some workers, often supervisory workers, receive some compensation for being involved in workplaces with specific combinations of high performance work practices. This effect was most often seen in the interaction of unionization and practices such as self-managed teams or labor-management problem-solving groups. …

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