Management Practices, Work--L ife Balance, and Productivity: A Review of Some Recent Evidence
Nick Bloom and
John van Reenen ()
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: David Bloom and
Nicholas Bloom ()
Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 2006, vol. 22, issue 4, 457-482
Increasing product-market competition is believed to be a driving force behind higher productivity. However, even those critics of globalization who accept this argument claim that there is a hard trade-off because tougher competition comes at the price of reducing work--life balance (WLB). Optimists, by contrast, argue that competition can spur better WLB practices and therefore higher productivity, so there is a 'win--win' situation. To address this issue we use an innovative survey tool to collect the first international data on management practices and WLB practices , surveying 732 medium-sized manufacturing firms in the USA, France, Germany, and the UK. We find that the USA has the best management practices but the worst work--life balance. When we look within countries, however, we reject the pessimistic 'trade-off' model. First, WLB outcomes are significantly associated with better management, so that well-run firms are both more productive and offer better conditions for their employees. Second, tougher competition increases average management quality but does not negatively affect employees' working environment. As with many other studies, better WLB practices are associated with significantly higher productivity. This relationship disappears, however, after controlling for the overall quality of management. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (18) Track citations by RSS feed
There are no downloads for this item, see the EconPapers FAQ for hints about obtaining it.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:oxford:v:22:y:2006:i:4:p:457-482
Access Statistics for this article
Oxford Review of Economic Policy is currently edited by C. Allsopp
More articles in Oxford Review of Economic Policy from Oxford University Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().