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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

Organizational Performance In Services, Rosemary Batt, Virginia Doellgast May 2015

Organizational Performance In Services, Rosemary Batt, Virginia Doellgast

Rosemary Batt

The question of performance in service activities and occupations is important for several reasons. First, over two-thirds of employment in advanced economies is in service activities. Second, productivity growth in services is historically low, lagging far behind manufacturing, and as a result, wages in production-level service jobs remain low. In addition, labor costs in service activities are often over 50% of total costs, whereas in manufacturing they have fallen to less than 25% of costs. This raises the question of whether management practices that have improved performance in manufacturing, such as investment in the skills and training of the workforce ...


Performance And Growth In Entrepreneurial Firms: Revisiting The Union-Performance Relationship, Rosemary Batt, Theresa M. Welbourne May 2015

Performance And Growth In Entrepreneurial Firms: Revisiting The Union-Performance Relationship, Rosemary Batt, Theresa M. Welbourne

Rosemary Batt

[Excerpt] A substantial body of research has examined the relationship between unions and firm performance. It generally has found a positive relationship between unions and productivity and a negative relationship between unions and financial performance (Freeman & Medoff, 1984; Addison & Hirsch, 1989; Belman, 1992; Freeman, 1992). The exit/voice model is most commonly used to explain this paradox (Freeman & Medoff, 1984). Freeman and Medoff argued that the “monopoly power” of unions leads to high union wages and restrictive work rules, both of which raise the costs of production and lower profit margins. The presence of unions, however, also lowers production costs by reducing turnover (exit ...


Strategic Segmentation In Frontline Services: Matching Customers, Employees, And Human Resource Systems, Rosemary Batt Jan 2010

Strategic Segmentation In Frontline Services: Matching Customers, Employees, And Human Resource Systems, Rosemary Batt

Rosemary Batt

This paper examines variation in the use of high involvement work practices in service and sales operations. I argue that the relationship between the customer and frontline service provider is a central feature that distinguishes production-level service activities from manufacturing. In particular, through strategic segmentation, firms are able to segment customers by their demand characteristics and to match the complexity and potential revenue stream of the customer to the skills of employees and the human resource system that shapes the customer-employee interface. Unlike manufacturing, where high involvement systems have emerged in a wide variety of product markets, therefore, service organizations ...


Who Benefits From Teams? Comparing Workers, Supervisors, And Managers, Rosemary Batt Jan 2010

Who Benefits From Teams? Comparing Workers, Supervisors, And Managers, Rosemary Batt

Rosemary Batt

This paper offers a political explanation for the diffusion and sustainability of team-based work systems by examining the differential outcomes of team structures for 1200 workers, supervisors, and middle managers in a large unionized telecommunications company. Regression analyses show that participation in self-managed teams is associated with significantly higher levels of perceived discretion, employment security, and satisfaction for workers and the opposite for supervisors. Middle managers who initiate team innovations report higher employment security, but otherwise are not significantly different from their counterparts who are not involved in innovations. By contrast, there are no significant outcomes for employees associated with ...


Telecommunications 2004: Strategy, Hr Practices & Performance - Cornell-Rutgers Telecommunications Project, Rosemary Batt, Alex Colvin, Harry Katz, Jeffrey Keefe Jan 2008

Telecommunications 2004: Strategy, Hr Practices & Performance - Cornell-Rutgers Telecommunications Project, Rosemary Batt, Alex Colvin, Harry Katz, Jeffrey Keefe

Rosemary Batt

This national benchmarking report of the U.S. telecommunications services industry traces the tumultuous changes in management and workforce practices and performance in the sector over the last 5 years. This is a follow-up report to our 1998 study. At that time, when the industry was booming, we conducted a national survey of establishments in the industry. In 2003, we returned to do a second national survey of the industry, this time in a sector that was recovering from one of the worst recessions in its history.


Human Resource Management, Service Quality, And Economic Performance In Call Centers, Rosemary Batt, Lisa M. Moynihan Jan 2008

Human Resource Management, Service Quality, And Economic Performance In Call Centers, Rosemary Batt, Lisa M. Moynihan

Rosemary Batt

This paper examines the relationship between human resource practices, operational outcomes, and economic performance in call centers. The study draws on a sample of 64 call centers serving the mass market in a large telecommunications services company. Surveys of 1,243 employees in the 64 centers were aggregated to the call center level and matched to archival data on service process quality, as measured by customer surveys; call handling time, revenues per call, and net revenues per call. Our path analysis shows that human resource practices emphasizing employee training, discretion, and rewards lead to higher service quality, higher revenues per ...


The Indian Call Centre Industry: National Benchmarking Report Strategy, Hr Practices, & Performance, Rosemary Batt, Virginia Doellgast, Hyunji Kwon, Mudit Nopany, Priti Nopany, Anil Da Costa Jan 2008

The Indian Call Centre Industry: National Benchmarking Report Strategy, Hr Practices, & Performance, Rosemary Batt, Virginia Doellgast, Hyunji Kwon, Mudit Nopany, Priti Nopany, Anil Da Costa

Rosemary Batt

Report of the Global Call Centre Industry Project

The dramatic growth of the call center industry is a world-wide phenomenon, fueled by advances in information technologies and the precipitous decline in the costs of voice and data transmission over the last two decades. As part of this global industry, call centres in India have experienced spectacular growth in the last five years. They generate seventy percent of the revenues of the Indian Business Process Outourcing (BPO) industry, according to estimates by Mckinsey (www.nasscom.org).

This rapid growth has also brought managerial challenges in terms of recruitment,staffing, training, and ...


The Economic Costs And Benefits Of Self-Managed Teams Among Skilled Technicians, Rosemary Batt Jan 2008

The Economic Costs And Benefits Of Self-Managed Teams Among Skilled Technicians, Rosemary Batt

Rosemary Batt

This paper estimates the economic costs and benefits of implementing teams among highly-skilled technicians in a large regional telecommunications company. It matches individual survey and objective performance data for 230 employees in matched pairs of traditionally-supervised and self-managed groups. Multivariate regressions with appropriate controls show that teams do the work of supervisors in 60-70% less time, reducing indirect labor costs by 75 percent per team. Objective measures of quality and labor productivity are unaffected. Team members receive additional overtime pay that represents a 4-5 percent annual wage premium, which may be viewed alternatively as a share in the productivity gains ...


How High Performance Human Resource Practices And Workforce Unionization Affect Managerial Pay, Alexander Colvin, Rosemary Batt, Harry C. Katz Jan 2008

How High Performance Human Resource Practices And Workforce Unionization Affect Managerial Pay, Alexander Colvin, Rosemary Batt, Harry C. Katz

Rosemary Batt

Using data from a nationally representative sample of telecommunications establishments, this study finds that HR practices and workforce unionization influence managerial pay levels and the ratio of manager-to-worker pay. High performance HR practices, including investment in the skills of the workforce, in computer-based technologies, and in performance-based worker pay practices, are all positively related to managerial pay; but the use of workforce teams, which shift some managerial responsibilities to workers, has the opposite association. High performance HR practices also are associated with lower manager to- worker pay differentials. In addition, workforce unionization is positively associated with managerial pay levels, with ...


What Are The Effects Of Work Restructuring On Employee Well-Being And Firm Performance? Evidence From Telecommunications Services, Rosemary Batt Jan 2008

What Are The Effects Of Work Restructuring On Employee Well-Being And Firm Performance? Evidence From Telecommunications Services, Rosemary Batt

Rosemary Batt

The purpose of this study was to assess whether there are benefits to employees and firms associated with new forms of work organization and human resource and industrial relations practices. I examine a series of interrelated questions that may be summarized as follows. First, does participation in either total quality improvement teams or self-directed teams have benefits for workers, managers, and firms? If benefits exist, are they undermined by the negative effects of understaffing and job insecurity associated with downsizing? And finally, is there a coherent set of work organization, human resource, and industrial relations practices that provides mutual gains ...