The effect of employee workplace representation on firm performance : a cross-country comparison within Europe
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
Antwerp :Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculty of Applied Economics, 2013
Research paper / University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics ; 2013:008
University of Antwerp
In this paper, we contribute to the extant Industrial Relations literature, which is almost completely confined to estimating the effects of worker participation within a single country, by conducting a comparative multi-country study using unique data from the European Company Survey 2009. We compare representation regimes within the European Union. We categorize the EU Member States into five clusters with similar participation characteristics: the Germanic, French, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and transition cluster. Across these clusters, we first estimate the effects of the presence of what we refer to as an information and consultation body on firm performance, measured by economic performance of the establishment as assessed by managers-respondents. Second, we estimate the effects of managerial attitudes on performance, as we assume and find that only taking into account the mere presence of a worker representation is insufficient, as mutual understandings between management and employee representatives affect the functioning of the employee representation body, and hence firm performance.