nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The World Management Survey at 18: lessons and the way forward By Daniela Scur; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen; Renata Lemos; Nicholas Bloom
  2. Breaking Gender Barriers: Experimental Evidence on Men in Pink-Collar Jobs By Delfino, Alexia
  3. Does Board Structure Matter for Innovation? By Meriam Attia; Ouidad Yousfi; Abdelwahed Omri
  4. Multi-level Adaptation of Distributed Decision-Making Agents in Complex Task Environments By Dar\'io Blanco-Fern\'andez; Stephan Leitner; Alexandra Rausch
  5. Voice at Work By Jarkko Harju; Simon Jäger; Benjamin Schoefer
  6. The Distinct Impact of Information and Incentives on Cheating By Julien Benistant; Fabio Galeotti; Marie Claire Villeval
  7. Gender diversity in corporate boards: Evidence from quota-implied discontinuities By Kuzmina, Olga; Melentyeva, Valentina
  8. Do employees benefit from worker representation on corporate boards? By Christine Blandhol; Magne Mogstad; Peter Nilsson; Ola L. Vestad
  9. Culture as a Hiring Criterion: Systemic Discrimination in a Procedurally Fair Hiring Process By Meurs, Dominique; Puhani, Patrick A.
  10. Monetary incentives and the contagion of unethical behavior By Le Maux, Benoît; Masclet, David; Necker, Sarah

  1. By: Daniela Scur; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen; Renata Lemos; Nicholas Bloom
    Abstract: Understanding how differences in management “best practices” affect organizational outcomes has been a focus of both theoretical and empirical work in the fields of management, sociology, economics and public policy. The World Management Survey (WMS) project was born almost two decades ago with the main goal of developing a new systematic measure of management practices being used in organizations. The WMS has contributed to a body of knowledge around how managerial structures, not just managerial talent, relates to organizational performance. Over 18 years of research, a set of consistent patterns have emerged and spurred new questions. We will present a brief overview of what we have learned in terms of measuring and understanding management practices and condense the implications of these findings for policy. We end with an outline of what we see as the path forward for both research and policy implications of this research programme.
    JEL: L2
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Delfino, Alexia (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Traditionally female-dominated sectors are growing and male-dominated ones shrinking, yet sectorial male shares are not changing. Why? I embed a field experiment within the UK national recruitment program for social workers to analyse barriers to men's entry and the nature of men's sorting into female-dominated occupations. I modify the content of recruitment messages to potential applicants to exogenously vary two key drivers of selection: perceived gender shares and expectations of returns to ability. I find that perceived gender shares do not affect men's applications, while increasing expected returns to ability encourages men to apply and improves the average quality of the applicants. This allows the employer to hire more talented men, who consistently perform better on the job and are not more likely to leave vis-á-vis men with lower expected returns to ability. I conclude by showing that there is no trade-off between men's entry and women's exit among talented applicants, both at hiring and on-the-job, and thus the net impact of raising expected returns to ability for the employer is positive.
    Keywords: recruitment experiment, gender barriers, beliefs
    JEL: D23 D83 J24 J7 M5
    Date: 2021–01
  3. By: Meriam Attia (ISG - Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Tunis [Tunis] - Université de Tunis, UM - Université de Montpellier); Ouidad Yousfi (UM - Université de Montpellier, MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UM - Université de Montpellier - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3); Abdelwahed Omri (ISG - Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Tunis [Tunis] - Université de Tunis)
    Abstract: This chapter shows how boards' characteristics could influence two aspects of innovation: (1) innovation effort (such as R&D expenditures and R&D team composition) and (2) innovation performance, specifically product, process, organizational and marketing innovations. First, we focus on individual characteristics of board members and their influence on innovation effort and performance. Then, we examine how the internal organization of boards, specifically the committees' roles and their composition and to what extent they could be meaningful to innovation processes. Specially, we discuss the influence of the committee size, the frequency of meetings, and the presence of independent and female members. Finally, the chapter sheds light on the effectiveness of initiatives and programs introduced to increase diversity such as gender quota laws, and the presence of minorities in top management positions.
    Keywords: Committees,Board demographic attributes,Board Structure,Corporate Governance,Innovation
    Date: 2021–04–01
  4. By: Dar\'io Blanco-Fern\'andez; Stephan Leitner; Alexandra Rausch
    Abstract: To solve complex tasks, individuals often autonomously organize in teams. Examples of complex tasks include disaster relief rescue operations or project development in consulting. The teams that work on such tasks are adaptive at multiple levels: First, by autonomously choosing the individuals that jointly perform a specific task, the team itself adapts to the complex task at hand, whereby the composition of teams might change over time. We refer to this process as self-organization. Second, the members of a team adapt to the complex task environment by learning. There is, however, a lack of extensive research on multi-level adaptation processes that consider self-organization and individual learning as simultaneous processes in the field of management science. We introduce an agent-based model based on the NK-framework to study the effects of simultaneous multi-level adaptation on a team's performance. We implement the multi-level adaptation process by a second-price auction mechanism for self-organization at the team level. Adaptation at the individual level follows an autonomous learning mechanism. Our preliminary results suggest that, depending on the task's complexity, different configurations of individual and collective adaptation can be associated with higher overall task performance. Low complex tasks favour high individual and collective adaptation, while moderate individual and collective adaptation is associated with better performance in case of moderately complex tasks. For highly complex tasks, the results suggest that collective adaptation is harmful to performance.
    Date: 2021–03
  5. By: Jarkko Harju; Simon Jäger; Benjamin Schoefer
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of worker voice on job quality and separations. We leverage the 1991 introduction of worker representation on boards of Finnish firms with at least 150 employees. In contrast to exit-voice theory, our difference-in-differences design reveals no effects on voluntary job separations, and at most small positive effects on other measures of job quality (job security, health, subjective job quality, and wages). Worker voice slightly raised firm survival, productivity, and capital intensity. A 2008 introduction of shop-floor representation had similarly limited effects. Interviews and surveys indicate that worker representation facilitates information sharing rather than boosting labor’s power.
    JEL: G3 J3 J5 J63 L22
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Julien Benistant (Univ Lyon, CNRS, ISC Marc Jeannerod, UMR 5229, Bron, France); Fabio Galeotti (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE, UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE, UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France; IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: We study a dynamic variant of the die-under-the-cup task where players can repeatedly misreport the outcomes of consecutive die rolls to earn more money, either under a noncompetitive piece rate scheme or in a two-player competitive tournament. In this dynamic setting we test (i) whether giving continuous feedback (vs. final ex post feedback) on the opponent’s reported outcome to both players encourages cheating behavior, and (ii) to what extent this influence depends on the incentive scheme in use (piece rate vs. tournament). We also vary whether the opponent is able to cheat or not. We find that people lie more when placed in a competitive rather than a non-competitive setting, but only if both players can cheat in the tournament. Continuous feedback on the counterpart’s reports increases cheating under the piece-rate scheme but not in a competitive setting. Our results provide new insights on the role that feedback plays on cheating behavior in dynamic settings under different payment schemes, and shed liht on the origins of the effect of competition on dishonesty.
    Keywords: Dishonesty, feedback, peer effects, competitive incentives, experiment
    JEL: C92 M52 D83
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Kuzmina, Olga; Melentyeva, Valentina
    Abstract: Using data across European corporate boards, we investigate the effects of quota-induced female representation on firm value and operations, under minimal identification assumptions. We consider sharp increases in the share of women on boards that arise due to rounding whenever percentage-based regulation applies to a small group of people. We find that having more women on corporate boards has large positive effects on Tobin's Q and buy-and-hold returns. This result is in stark contrast with previous empirical work that finds large negative effects. The reason for this discrepancy is that these papers considered firms with different pre-quota shares of women to be good counterfactuals to each other. In our data, we see that such firms had grown differently already before the regulation. Thus, assuming they are good comparables would result in a negatively biased estimate of the effect. Instead, we use quasi-random assignment induced by rounding and find that promoting gender equality is aligned with shareholder interests. This positive effect is not explained by increased risk-taking or changes in board composition, but rather by scaling down inefficient operations and empire-"demolishing".
    Keywords: Gender diversity,women on boards,gender quota,performance
    JEL: J16 G34 G38 D22
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Christine Blandhol; Magne Mogstad; Peter Nilsson; Ola L. Vestad (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Do employees benefit from worker representation on corporate boards? Economists and policymakers are keenly interested in this question – especially lately, as worker representation is widely promoted as an important way to ensure the interests and views of the workers. To investigate this question, we apply a variety of research designs to administrative data from Norway. We find that a worker is paid more and faces less earnings risk if she gets a job in a firm with worker representation on the corporate board. However, these gains in wages and declines in earnings risk are not caused by worker representation per se. Instead, the wage premium and reduced earnings risk reflect that firms with worker representation are likely to be larger and unionized, and that larger and unionized firms tend to both pay a premium and provide better insurance to workers against fluctuations in firm performance. Conditional on the firm’s size and unionization rate, worker representation has little if any effect. Taken together, these findings suggest that while workers may indeed benefit from being employed in firms with worker representation, they would not benefit from legislation mandating worker representation on corporate boards.
    Keywords: Worker compensation; Worker representation; Corporate governance; Unions
    JEL: G34 G38 J31 J54 J58
    Date: 2020–01
  9. By: Meurs, Dominique; Puhani, Patrick A.
    Abstract: Criteria used in hiring workers often do not reflect the skills required on the job. By comparing trainee performance for newly hired workers conditional on competitive civil service examination scores for hiring French public sector workers, we test whether women and men with the same civil service examination score exhibit similar performance in a job-related trainee programme. Both the civil service examination and trainee scores contain anonymous and non-anonymous components that we observe separately. We find that by the end of the trainee programme (first year of employment), women are outperforming men on both anonymous written and non-anonymous oral evaluations, a finding that holds both conditionally and unconditionally for the civil service examination results. According to further analysis, however, it is the anonymously graded "essay on common culture" civil service examination that, unlike the other CSE components, disadvantages women in this particular context.
    Keywords: recruitment; disparate impact; systemic discrimination; audit
    JEL: H83 J45 J71 M51
    Date: 2021–03
  10. By: Le Maux, Benoît; Masclet, David; Necker, Sarah
    Abstract: We analyze both theoretically and empirically how monetary incentives and information about others' behavior affect dishonesty. We run a laboratory experiment with 560 participants, each of whom observes a number from one to six with there being a payoff associated with each number. They can either truthfully report the number they see or lie about it in order to increase their payoff. We vary both the size of the payoff (Low, High, and Very High) and the amount of information about others' dishonesty (With and Without Information). We first find that dishonesty falls in the Very High treatment. Second, while social information has on average at most a weak positive effect, there is a strong effect if the accuracy of individuals' beliefs is accounted for. Third, social information and payoffs do not interact with each other.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment,theory,cheating,monetary incentives,information on others' behavior,lying costs
    JEL: C91 D03 D78
    Date: 2021

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