nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2019‒12‒16
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Climbing the Ladders of Job Satisfaction and Employees' Organizational Commitment: A Semi-Nonparametric Approach By Vieira, José António Cabral
  2. The Costs of Job Loss and Task Usage By Kauhanen, Antti; Riukula, Krista
  3. Harnessing the Power of Social Incentives to Curb Shirking in Teams By Brice Corgnet; Brian Gunia; Roberto Hernán González
  4. Feminist Firms By Bennett, Benjamin; Erel, Isil; Stern, Lea; Wang, Zexi
  6. Ceo pay in perspective By Boyer, Marcel

  1. By: Vieira, José António Cabral (University of the Azores)
    Abstract: Researchers and human resource practitioners are nearly unanimous that satisfied and committed employees can play a major positive role in business performance. There is, however, a need for further evidence on what determines satisfaction at the workplace and how it can be promoted. In other words, do managers have access to specific satisfaction-enhancing variables, or are the determining factors more intrinsic to workers, such as their demographics or even religious beliefs and practices? Furthermore, is employee commitment totally explained by satisfaction, or do further factors promote it? This paper addresses these topics using an extensive sample of employees from a large number of countries. For this purpose, we use a semi-nonparametric estimator for a series of generalized models that nest the conventional ordered probit model, thus relaxing the distributional assumption in that model. The main results indicate that not all determinants of employees' satisfaction can be fostered by management, although some managerial instruments are available. Moreover, promoting workplace satisfaction helps increase employees' commitment (and consequently business success) but does not fully exhaust the explanation of such behavior. The findings of this study can motivate further study among researchers and illuminate helpful practices for human resource managers and practitioners.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, worker characteristics, job characteristics, ordered probit, semi-nonparametric estimation
    JEL: J50 J53
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Kauhanen, Antti; Riukula, Krista
    Abstract: Abstract This study examines the degree to which the effects of job loss depend on task usage and task distance to other jobs. We use linked employer-employee data and representative survey data on task usage and plant closures to identify individuals who have lost their jobs involuntarily. We find that the heterogeneity in the cost of job loss is linked to task usage. Workers in origin jobs with high levels of social tasks have smaller employment and earnings losses, whereas workers in routine jobs face larger wage losses. Instead, the distance in task usage between the origin job and other jobs does not matter when the usage of manual, abstract, routine and social tasks is taken into account.
    Keywords: Job loss, Wage loss, Linked Employer-Employee Data, Specific Human Capital
    JEL: J62 J65 J31 J24
    Date: 2019–12–09
  3. By: Brice Corgnet (Emlyon Business School); Brian Gunia (Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University); Roberto Hernán González (Burgundy School of Business, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté)
    Abstract: We study several solutions to shirking in teams that trigger social incentives by reshaping the workplace social context. Using an experimental design, we manipulate social pressure at work by varying the type of workplace monitoring and the extent to which employees engage in social interaction. This design allows us to assess the effectiveness as well as the popularity of each solution. Despite similar effectiveness in boosting productivity across solutions, only organizational systems involving social interaction (via chat) were at least as popular as a baseline treatment. This suggests that any solution based on promoting social interaction is more likely to be embraced by workers than monitoring systems alone.
    Keywords: Social Incentives; Social Pressure; Moral Hazard in Teams; Laboratory Experiments
    JEL: C92 D23 D91 M54
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Bennett, Benjamin (Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business); Erel, Isil (Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Finance); Stern, Lea (University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business); Wang, Zexi (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: We examine whether reducing frictions in the labor market affects the performance of private and public firms. Using the staggered adoption of state-level Paid Family Leave acts, we provide causal evidence on the value created by relieving frictions to female talent allocation. The magnitude of firms' improved performance is correlated with their exposure to the laws. We document that reduced turnover, increased productivity, and female leadership are important mechanisms leading to the observed performance gains.
    JEL: J16 J22 J24 J32 J78 M14 M51
    Date: 2019–11
  5. By: Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (Institute of Retail Economics (Handelns Forskningsinstitut)); Moradi, Jasmine (Space Sonology); Rudholm, Niklas (Institute of Retail Economics (Handelns Forskningsinstitut)); Öberg, Christina (Örebro University)
    Abstract: The effects of in-store music on consumer behavior have attracted much attention in the marketing literature, but surprisingly few studies have investigated in-store music in relation to employees. Conducting a large-scale field experiment in eight Filippa K fashion stores in Stockholm, Sweden, we investigate whether it is beneficial for store owners to give employees more opportunities to influence the in-store music. The experiment lasted 56 weeks, and the stores were randomly assigned into a treatment group and a control group, with the employees in the treatment stores having the opportunity to influence the in-store music through an app developed by Soundtrack Your Brand (SYB). The results from the experiment show that sales decreased by, on average, 6% in treatment stores when employees had the opportunity to influence the music played in the store. Interviews revealed that employees frequently changed songs, preferred to play high-intensity songs, and had diverse music preferences that were not congruent with the brand values of the company. Our results thus imply that employees choose music that suits their preferences rather than based on what is optimal for the store, suggesting that store owners might want to limit their opportunities to influence the background music in stores.
    Keywords: Background music; Brand-fit music; Music tempo; Consumer behavior; Job satisfaction; Atmospheric cues; Work environment; Field experiment
    JEL: C93 D22 L81 M31 M54
    Date: 2019–12–09
  6. By: Boyer, Marcel
    Abstract: The CEO pay ratio, measured as the ratio of CEO pay over the median salary of a firm’s employees, is the most often quoted number in the popular press. This ratio has reached 281 this last year for S&P500 firms, the largest US firms by capitalization (as of November 21 2019). But the B-ratio I proposed here, measured as the CEO pay over the total payroll of the firm, relates CEO pay to the salary of each employee and may be the most relevant and informative figure on CEO pay as perceived by the firm’s employees themselves. How much a typical employee of the S&P500 firms implicitly “contributes” to the salary of his/her CEO? An amount of $273 on average or 0.5% of one’s salary, that is, one half of one percent on an individual salary basis. To assess whether such a contribution is worthwhile, one must determine the value of the CEO for the organization and its workers and stakeholders. The Appendix provides the data for all 500 firms regrouped in 10 industries (Bloomberg classification).
    Keywords: CEO pay ratio; B-ratio; S&P500; Bloomberg; Real options
    Date: 2019–12

This nep-hrm issue is ©2019 by Patrick Kampkötter. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.