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University of Chicago Press
International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

by Richard B. Freeman, Kathryn L. ShawRichard B. Freeman


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In recent years, globalization and the expansion of information technologies have reshaped managerial practices, forcing multinational firms to adjust business practices to different environments and domestic companies to adjust to their foreign competitors. In International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, a distinguished group of contributors examines the phenomenon of widespread differences in managerial practices across firms, establishments within firms, and countries.

This volume brings together eight studies that combine qualitative and quantitative insider analysis of business practices such as the use of teams, incentive pay, lean manufacturing, and quality control, revealing the elements that determine which practices are adopted and why. International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms offers a much-needed model for measuring the productivity and performance of international firms in a fast-paced global economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226261942
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Series: National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard B. Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University and is currently serving as faculty director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School. He is director of the Labor Studies Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Kathryn L. Shaw is the Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Table of Contents



Richard B. Freeman and Kathryn L. Shaw

I. Cross- Firm Studies

1. Work- Life Balance, Management Practices, and Productivity

Nick Bloom, Tobias Kretschmer, and John Van Reenen

2. International Differences in the Adoption and Impact of New Information Technologies and New HR Practices: The Valve- Making Industry in the United States and United Kingdom

Ann Bartel, Casey Ichniowski, Kathryn L. Shaw, and Ricardo Correa

3. The Guy at the Controls: Labor Quality and Power Plant Efficiency

James B. Bushnell and Catherine Wolfram

II. Within- Firm Studies

4. Labor Practices and Outcomes across Countries: Analysis of a Single Multinational Firm

Richard B. Freeman, Douglas Kruse, and Joseph Blasi

5. Within-firm Labor Productivity across Countries: A Case Study

Francine Lafontaine and Jagadeesh Sivadasan

6. Productivity Differences in an International Pharmaceutical Firm

Tor Eriksson and Niels Westergaard-Nielsen

7. Measuring the Productivity of Software Development in a Globally Distributed Company

Alec Levenson

8. International Differences in Lean Production, Productivity, and Employee Attitudes

Susan Helper and Morris M. Kleiner


Author Index

Subject Index

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