Does High Involvement Management Improve Worker Wellbeing?
Böckerman, Petri; Bryson, Alex; Ilmakunnas, Pekka (2012)
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Employees exposed to high involvement management (HIM) practices have higher subjective wellbeing, fewer accidents but more short absence spells than "like" employees not exposed to HIM. These results are robust to extensive work, wage and sickness absence history controls. We highlight the possibility of higher short-term absence in the presence of HIM because it is more demanding than standard production and because multi-skilled HIM workers cover for one another's short absences thus reducing the cost of replacement labour faced by the employer. We find direct empirical support for this. In accordance with the theoretical framework we find also that long-term absences are independent of exposure to HIM, which is consistent with long-term absences entailing replacement labour costs and with short absences having a negative effect on longer absences.