High performance workplace practices were extolled as an efficient means to increase firm productivity. The empirical evidence is disputed, however. To assess the productivity effects of a broad variety of measures, we simultaneously account for both unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity using establishment panel data for Germany. We show that increasing employee participation enhances firm productivity in Germany, whereas incentive systems do not foster productivity. Our results further indicate that firms with structural productivity problems tend to introduce organisational changes that increase employee participation whereas well performing firms are more likely to offer incentives.
Wolf, Elke and Thomas Zwick (2002), Reassessing the Impact of High Performance Workplaces, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 02-07, Mannheim. Download