This book examines the phenomenon of widespread differences in managerial practices across firms, establishments within firms, and countries. Taking the shocks of globalization and information technology and national labor relations regulations as exogenous, this book examines several questions that lie at the heart of ongoing debate about how firms contribute to economic growth and the degree to which national customs or regulations impede or spur growth-augmenting improvements in productivity. The first part of the book reports on studies of the practices and productivity across firms that operate in broadly similar markets and thus should face similar technological and market constraints and problems while operating in the United States and other advanced countries. The second part of the book examines practices and productivity within multinational firms when they operate in different countries. A large variation among establishments across countries is found, which some multinationals seem to reduce or even virtually eliminate within their own business.
Keywords: globalization, information technologies, managerial practices, firms, labor relations