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International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms$
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Richard B. Freeman and Kathryn L. Shaw

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226261942

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226261959.001.0001

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Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries

Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries

Analysis of a Single Multinational Firm

(p.105) 4 Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries
International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

Richard B. Freeman

Douglas Kruse

Joseph Blasi

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores country differences in the labor practices, attitudes toward work, and the economic performance of workers and establishments in a data set that covers 29,353 workers in a single multinational firm. The data set has a rich variety of measures, including an innovative measure of responses to coworker shirking with results from nineteen countries. The employment relations, worker attitudes, and performance of workers varied more across countries than among states/regions in the United States and were linked in ways that suggested that workers across these countries respond to policies in broadly similar ways. Analysis of establishment averages showed that the strong relation between good labor–management relations and employee behavior or outcomes holds at the establishment level as well, while the relationship of high performance workplaces and above market compensation to employee behavior generally fails to generalize to the establishment. The results on high performance practices and compensation, however, were more mixed.

Keywords:   labor practices, countries, multinational firms, economic performance, work attitudes

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