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A neglected input to production: the role of ICT-schooled employees in firm performance

A neglected input to production: the role of ICT-schooled employees in firm performance PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to broaden the perspective on how information and communication technology (ICT) relates to productivity by introducing a novel ICT variable: the share of ICT-schooled employees in firms, an intangible input often neglected or difficult to measure.Design/methodology/approachBased on a Cobb-Douglas production function specification, the association between the share of ICT-schooled employees and firm productivity is estimated by the use of unique comparable multi-linked firm-level data sets from statistical offices in six European countries for the period of 2001-2009.FindingsThere are indications that the share of ICT-schooled employees significantly and positively relates to productivity, and also that this relationship is generally more persistent than that of ICT intensity of firms, measured as the proportion of broadband internet-enabled employees. However, the strength of the association varies across countries and demonstrates that underlying factors, such as industry structure and institutional settings might be of importance too.Research limitations/implicationsData features and the way to access harmonised firm-level data across countries affect the choice of econometric approach and output variable.Practical implicationsThe results emphasise the importance of specific ICT skills in firms independently of where in the organisation the employee works.Originality/valueStudies on associations between employees with specific (higher) education based on formal credentials and productivity are rare. Even more uncommon is the cross-country setting with harmonised data including general ICT intensity of firms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Manpower Emerald Publishing

A neglected input to production: the role of ICT-schooled employees in firm performance

International Journal of Manpower , Volume 38 (3): 19 – Jun 5, 2017

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References (58)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0143-7720
DOI
10.1108/IJM-05-2015-0073
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to broaden the perspective on how information and communication technology (ICT) relates to productivity by introducing a novel ICT variable: the share of ICT-schooled employees in firms, an intangible input often neglected or difficult to measure.Design/methodology/approachBased on a Cobb-Douglas production function specification, the association between the share of ICT-schooled employees and firm productivity is estimated by the use of unique comparable multi-linked firm-level data sets from statistical offices in six European countries for the period of 2001-2009.FindingsThere are indications that the share of ICT-schooled employees significantly and positively relates to productivity, and also that this relationship is generally more persistent than that of ICT intensity of firms, measured as the proportion of broadband internet-enabled employees. However, the strength of the association varies across countries and demonstrates that underlying factors, such as industry structure and institutional settings might be of importance too.Research limitations/implicationsData features and the way to access harmonised firm-level data across countries affect the choice of econometric approach and output variable.Practical implicationsThe results emphasise the importance of specific ICT skills in firms independently of where in the organisation the employee works.Originality/valueStudies on associations between employees with specific (higher) education based on formal credentials and productivity are rare. Even more uncommon is the cross-country setting with harmonised data including general ICT intensity of firms.

Journal

International Journal of ManpowerEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 5, 2017

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