In-work poverty: reversing a trend through business commitment

In-work poverty: reversing a trend through business commitment PurposeThis study aims to explore whether employer action may contribute towards reducing in-work poverty. Essentially, the study examines the extent to which small firm owners accept as being among their core responsibilities the support of the working poor both from an ethical and financial perspective. It further explores the impact of employee-friendly policies to support the working poor on the organizational performance of small enterprises.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative approach was adopted consisting of 60 responses from 30 small firm owners and 30 employees. More specifically, the study draws on the empirical data collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the firm owners of 30 low-paying enterprises operating in Greece and 30 employees working in those firms.FindingsThe findings reveal that employer measures to reduce in-work poverty such as systematic training, travel allowance, provision of free meals and retail vouchers, bonus schemes and other indirect financial rewards do enhance overall employee well-being, which, in turn, makes employees more engaged with their work and motivate them to “go the extra mile” for their employer. As a result, organizations appear to enjoy several benefits including less absenteeism and staff turnover, reduced errors in production and increased productivity.Practical implicationsThe present analysis argues that a narrow focus by policymakers on both direct and indirect governmental measures (e.g. an increase of the minimum wage, childcare and housing support) to reduce in work-poverty could be problematic as there are employer instruments that could also have a direct and indirect impact on employee income that could be useful when thinking about how in-work poverty can best be addressed. The empirical work showed that the above-mentioned measures have the potential to bring various organizational benefits including increased staff loyalty, less absenteeism, improved customer service and increased productivity. Such findings indicate that there is a strong business case for employers to combat in-work poverty and provide “better” jobs to individuals.Originality/valueThe emphasis of research around in-work poverty has been placed predominantly on welfare state measures to support the working poor, whereas the contribution of employers has been ignored. The present study fills this knowledge gap by leading to a better understanding of whether there is a business case for employers to fight in-work poverty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Strategy Emerald Publishing

In-work poverty: reversing a trend through business commitment

Journal of Business Strategy, Volume 40 (5): 9 – Sep 3, 2019

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/in-work-poverty-reversing-a-trend-through-business-commitment-PYYyHpOIwe
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0275-6668
DOI
10.1108/JBS-01-2019-0008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis study aims to explore whether employer action may contribute towards reducing in-work poverty. Essentially, the study examines the extent to which small firm owners accept as being among their core responsibilities the support of the working poor both from an ethical and financial perspective. It further explores the impact of employee-friendly policies to support the working poor on the organizational performance of small enterprises.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative approach was adopted consisting of 60 responses from 30 small firm owners and 30 employees. More specifically, the study draws on the empirical data collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the firm owners of 30 low-paying enterprises operating in Greece and 30 employees working in those firms.FindingsThe findings reveal that employer measures to reduce in-work poverty such as systematic training, travel allowance, provision of free meals and retail vouchers, bonus schemes and other indirect financial rewards do enhance overall employee well-being, which, in turn, makes employees more engaged with their work and motivate them to “go the extra mile” for their employer. As a result, organizations appear to enjoy several benefits including less absenteeism and staff turnover, reduced errors in production and increased productivity.Practical implicationsThe present analysis argues that a narrow focus by policymakers on both direct and indirect governmental measures (e.g. an increase of the minimum wage, childcare and housing support) to reduce in work-poverty could be problematic as there are employer instruments that could also have a direct and indirect impact on employee income that could be useful when thinking about how in-work poverty can best be addressed. The empirical work showed that the above-mentioned measures have the potential to bring various organizational benefits including increased staff loyalty, less absenteeism, improved customer service and increased productivity. Such findings indicate that there is a strong business case for employers to combat in-work poverty and provide “better” jobs to individuals.Originality/valueThe emphasis of research around in-work poverty has been placed predominantly on welfare state measures to support the working poor, whereas the contribution of employers has been ignored. The present study fills this knowledge gap by leading to a better understanding of whether there is a business case for employers to fight in-work poverty.

Journal

Journal of Business StrategyEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 3, 2019

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off