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Adding value in studying employee involvement and participation: benefits of matching employee-employer data in WERS. Annette Cox Manchester Business School University of Manchester, UK Presentation for 2nd WORKS workshop on ‘Measuring Changes in Work by Organisation Surveys',

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Adding value in studying employee involvement and participation: benefits of matching employee-employer data in WERS

Annette CoxManchester Business SchoolUniversity of Manchester, UK

Presentation for 2nd WORKS workshop on ‘Measuring Changes in Work by Organisation Surveys',

Higher Institute of Labour Studies of the Catholic University (HIVA-K.U.), Leuven, Belgium, 19 March, 2007

summary
Introduction to WERS

Issues in examining EIP (1) - measuring EIP embeddedness

EIP measures and outcomes used in analysing WERS

Findings (1) – formal EIP practices and employee outcomes from WERS 2004

Issues in examining EIP (2) – organisational context and EIP processes

Findings (2) – EIP processes and employee outcomes from WERS 2004

Conclusions

Implications for international surveys

Summary
uk workplace employment industrial relations survey series wers wirs
5 surveys since 1980, sponsored by UK government and policy bodies

Nationally representative sample of employers, workplace level unit of analysis, covers wide range of HR/IR topics

Began with cross-section survey of employer and employee representatives, panel survey added 1998

WERS enjoys very good reputation and respectable response rates (64% for main mgt survey in 2004, 60% for employee survey)

Employee self-completion survey for the first time in 1998, permitting matching of employee/employer data

Employee survey quality increasing – detail and range of topics

More information from Information and Advice Service for WERS

Web address:

http://www.wers2004.info/about/ourservices.php

UK Workplace Employment/Industrial RelationsSurvey Series (WERS/WIRS)
eip and its outcomes role of wers
EIP and its outcomes – role of WERS
  • Problems with measuring outcomes and impact of EIP – need to look at nature and quality of EIP techniques – employee views critical for this
  • Key factor = ‘embeddedness’ of EIP in organisations

Types of embeddedness:

  • Network
  • Temporal
  • Institutional

Measured through EIP depthand breadth

measuring eip embeddedness
Measuring EIP embeddedness

EIP Embeddedness

Institutional = depth and breadth

Temporal = depth

Network = breadth

Measure via presence of Measure via presence of Measure via longevity over

multiple complementary multiple complementary EIP time (panel survey

EIP practices and practices (breadth) and how analysis) and temporal

coverage of employees seriously these are taken (depth): significance within workplace via

by EIP (management airtime, coverage of employees, regularity and frequency of TB/JCCs

cross-section survey method of JCC election, (management cross-section survey 2004)

2004) permanence of PSGs (management

cross-section survey 2004)

measures of eip applied in analysing wers 2004
From the management survey:

EIP practices examined (breadth):

JCCs,

ee surveys,

team briefings,

problem-solving groups,

providing information about finance, investment and staffing

Measures of embeddedness (depth):

% of ees participating in problem-solving groups,

airtime for ees in team briefings,

selection method for ee reps in establishment committees,

frequency of problem-solving groups and JCCs,

permanence of problem-solving groups

From the employee survey:

Ratings of usefulness of:

notice boards,

email,

intranet,

newsletters,

union/ee reps and ee – mgt meetings

(employee perceptions of EIP)

Ratings of mgt success in:

seeking views of ees or their representatives,

responding to suggestions from ees

ees’ degree of satisfaction with the amount of involvement in decision-making

( (in) formal EIP processes)

Measures of EIP applied in analysing WERS 2004
employee outcomes assessed through wers
1) Employee commitment

Pride in organisation

Loyalty to organisation

Sharing organisational values

Employee job satisfaction

perception of managerial fair treatment

amount of job influence

sense of achievement from work

managers’ honest dealing with employees

Analysis conducted using linear

regression applying standard set

of control variables

Employee outcomes assessed through WERS
eip embeddedness and employee outcomes in wers 2004
EIP embeddedness and employee outcomes in WERS 2004

Analysis of WERS 2004 showed

  • no links between presence/absence of single EIP practices
  • no significant links between management reports of depth or breadth of EIP practices and employee perceptions of job satisfaction and commitment in smaller workplaces with fewer than 25 employees
  • Results for workplaces with at least 25 employees now follow…
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Links between EIP embeddedness (depth/breadth) and organisational commitment/job satisfaction in WERS 2004 survey

Commitment Satisfaction

EIP breadth

**0.062 0.022

(0.025) (0.029)

JCC -0.092 **-0.274

(0.079) (0.092)

EIP depth 0.014 -0.025

(0.012) (0.014)

Depth *0.026 -0.002

of direct EIP practices (0.013) (0.017)

Depth of -0.020 **-0.093

indirect EIP practices (0.022) (0.028)

Notes: ** significant at 1% level, * significant at 5% level.

eip processes and organisational context
EIP processes and organisational context
  • Need to capture style of EIP implementation and informal EIP
  • Role of managers
  • Organisation context, especially size, may be important in use of EIP techniques
  • What aspects of EIP are important to employees?
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Employee perceptions of the helpfulness of EIP practices and links to organisational commitment/job satisfaction

Workplaces with 10-24 employees Workplaces with 25 + employees

Commitment Satisfaction Commitment Satisfaction

Notice boards 0.239* 0.447** 0.471** 0.524**

(0.108) (0.121) (0.050) (0.058)

Email 0.239 0.150 0.314** 0.225**

(0.130) (0.124) (0.069) (0.066)

Intranet -0.151 -0.008 0.045 -0.068

(0.157) (0.159) (0.062) (0.059)

Newsletters 0.133 0.138 0.364** 0.388**

Union/ee reps 0.179 0.091 0.170** 0.153**

(0.180) (0.184) (0.062) (0.057)

Meetings 0.971** 1.043** 0.683** 0.935**

(0.111) (0.129) (0.053) (0.057)

Number of

observations 2,123 2,128 14,411 14,279

Notes: ** significant at 1% level, * significant at 5% level

employee perceptions of eip implementation
Employee perceptions of EIP implementation

Workplaces with 10-24 employees Workplaces with 25 + employees

Commitment Satisfaction Commitment Satisfaction

Mgrs good/

v good at 0.546** 0.854** 0.509** 0.840**

seeking ee views (0.135) (0.129) (0.057) (0.059)

Mgrs good/v good 0.370** 0.796** 0.496** 0.824**

at responding to (0.124) (0.138) (0.059) (0.054)

ee suggestions

Ees satisfied/v 1.143** 1.462** 0.876** 0.824**

satisfied with (0.119) (0.138) (0.059) (0.054)

amount of

involvement in

decision-making

Number of

observations 2,135 2,134 14,292 14,195

Notes: ** significant at 1% level, * significant at 5% level

conclusions
Relationships between EIP structures, ee understanding of what EIP is and (in)formality of EIP processes require further exploration

Potential of matching employee/employer survey data to compare views of workplace from different stakeholders

Key message from findings = importance of EIP process -employee perception of management approach had strongest positive links to employee outcomes across all workplaces regardless of size

Size matters (a bit) - employee views on usefulness of EIP techniques vary depending on workplace context (and likely use of different practices)

Conclusions
implications for harmonising international survey data collection
Implications for harmonising international survey data collection
  • Need to encompass national differences in organisational and institutional structures (Whitfield et al., 1998)
  • How much detail can we reasonably expect of employee surveys?
  • Huge potential for capturing (variations in) impact of transnational factors on employment conditions and relationships