nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Work from home arrangements and organizational performance in Italian SMEs: Evidence from the COVIC-19 pandemic By Abrardi Laura; Grinza Elena; Manello Alessandro; Porta Flavio
  2. Training, Communications Patterns, and Spillovers Inside Organizations By Miguel Espinosa; Christopher T. Stanton
  3. Talent Hoarding in Organizations By Ingrid Haegele
  4. Job Satisfaction, Structure of Working Environment and Firm Size By Tansel, Aysit
  5. Acquisitions, Management, and Efficiency in Rwanda's Coffee Industry By Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
  6. Can meaning make cents? Making the meaning of work salient for US manufacturing workers By Salamone, Alberto; Lordan, Grace

  1. By: Abrardi Laura (DIGEP, Politecnico di Torino, Italy); Grinza Elena (Department of Economics, Social Studies, Applied Mathematics and Statistics (ESOMAS), University of Torino, Italy; CEBRIG Université Libre de Bruxelles; LABORatorio Riccardo Revelli); Manello Alessandro (Department of Economics, Social Studies, Applied Mathematics and Statistics (ESOMAS), University of Torino, Italy; IRCrES-CNR); Porta Flavio (Department of Economics, University of Bergamo, Italy)
    Abstract: We use survey data on Italian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) collected during the COVID-19 pandemic to explore the relationship between the adoption of work from home (WFH) practices and organizational performance. In so doing, we investigate the possible underlying mechanisms, including measures of labor productivity and workers' concentration and motivation, the level of absenteeism, the organization of work through management by objectives (MBO), and the presence of coordination and communication costs. We obtain several results. First, we find a significantly enhanced capability of firms that adopted WFH during the pandemic to sustain the overall organizational performance, particularly when such work practice is used intensively. Second, increased labor productivity and workers' concentration and motivation, decreased absenteeism, and a substantial rise in the adoption of MBO seem to be the main drivers behind the detected benefits related to WFH. Third, when WFH is used at medium levels of intensity, it is associated with augmented coordination and communication costs, which nonetheless do not appear to overcome the benefits associated with WFH.
    Keywords: Work From Home (WFH), Teleworking, Agile Working, Smart Working, Organizational Performance, Labor Productivity, Management by Objectives (MBO), COVID-19, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Survey Data.
    JEL: D23 D24 M54
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Miguel Espinosa; Christopher T. Stanton
    Abstract: We study direct productivity changes and spillovers after a randomized training program for the frontline workers in a Colombian government agency. While trained workers improved their individual production, we also find substantial spillovers that affected managers' productivity. We use email data and a survey to explore the mechanisms behind these spillovers and find that managers' increased output arises from reductions in the need to help lower level employees. Accounting for spillovers to manager productivity changes the organization's implied return on investment from the training program, expanding the set of training investments that can be supported.
    JEL: J24 L2 M5 M53
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Ingrid Haegele
    Abstract: Most organizations rely on managers to identify talented workers for promotions. However, managers who are evaluated on team performance have an incentive to hoard workers. This study provides the first empirical evidence of talent hoarding using novel personnel records from a large manufacturing firm. Temporary reductions of talent hoarding increase workers' applications for promotions by 123%. By reducing the quality and performance of promoted workers, talent hoarding contributes to misallocation of talent and perpetuates gender inequality in representation and pay at the firm.
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Tansel, Aysit
    Abstract: Employees' wellbeing is important to the firms. Analysis of job satisfaction may give insight into various aspect of labor market behavior, such as worker productivity, absenteeism and job turn over. Little empirical work has been done on the relationship between structure of working environment and job satisfaction. This paper investigates the relationship between working environment, firm size and worker job satisfaction. We use a unique data of 28,240 British employees, Workplace Employee Relations Survey. In this data set the employee questionnaire is matched with the employer questionnaire. Four measures of job satisfaction considered are satisfaction with influence over job, satisfaction with amount of pay, satisfaction with sense of achievement and satisfaction with respect from supervisors. They are all negatively related to the firm size implying lower levels of job satisfaction in larger firms. The firm size in return is negatively related to the degree of flexibility in the working environment. The small firms have more flexible work environments. This is the first study that explore the effect of work amenities. We further find that, contrary to the previous results lower levels of job satisfaction in larger firms can not necessarily be attributed to the inflexibility in their structure of working environment.
    Keywords: Job Satisfactions,Firm Size,Working Environment,Linked Employer-Employee Data,Britain
    JEL: J21 J28 J29 J81
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
    Abstract: Well-functioning markets allocate assets to owners that improve firms’ management and performance. We study the effects of ownership changes on coffee mills in Rwanda – an industry in which managing relationships with farmers and seasonal workers is important and that has seen many ownership changes in recent years. We combine administrative data, a survey panel of mills and an original survey of acquirers that allows us to construct acquirer-specific and target-specific control groups. A difference-in-differences design reveals that ownership changes do not improve performance unless the mill is acquired by a foreign firm. Our preferred interpretation – supported by detailed survey evidence that considers alternative hypotheses – is that foreign firms successfully implement management changes in key operational areas. Upon acquisition, both domestic and foreign owned mills attempt to implement similar changes, but domestic firms face resistance from workers and farmers. Domestic owners have relationships with their local communities, which can create opportunities to establish new mills and acquire existing ones. However, these same relationships create pressure to maintain status-quo relational arrangements, which makes it harder to implement managerial changes.
    JEL: D24 G32 G34 L25 N57 O12 O16
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Salamone, Alberto; Lordan, Grace
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in a small electronics manufacturing firm in the US with the specific aim to improve minutes worked, punctuality, tardiness and safety checks. Our intervention was to put posters on the production floor on a random day, which made salient to the blue-collar employees the meaning and importance of their job, which comprised of routine repetitive tasks, in a before and after design. Overall, the intervention was a success with positive and significant effects consistently found for the outcomes both immediately after the experiment finished (+3 days) and also more than two weeks after (+15 days). Our study highlights it is possible to motivate blue collar manual workers intrinsically by drawing attention to the meaning of their work.
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2022–07–08

This nep-hrm issue is ©2022 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.