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International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

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.

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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