This book explores the interaction of firms and workers based on insights from labor economics and industry studies. It features eleven papers selected from the Conference on Firms and Employees (CAFE) held on September 29–30, 2006, in Nuremberg, Germany. This introduction provides an overview of the major findings that have been made possible as a result of these new data sets. These span several different facets of the relationship between firms and workers, beginning with shedding more light on the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and productivity, then examining how firm differences in the organization of production are related to differences in HRM practices, how changing ownership affects the organization of production, and, finally, how changing trade patterns, particularly globalization, affect firm competitiveness and then work through to their employees.
Keywords: firms, workers, human resource management, productivity, ownership, trade, globalization, competitiveness, production