Combining technology and work organization : an analysis of complementarity between IT and decentralization across firms of different size


Rasel, Fabienne


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/37150
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-371507
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 14-071
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D22 , D24 , L20 , O33,
Keywords (English): Information technology , decentralized work organization , complementarity , productivity , enterprise software , firm-level data
Abstract: This paper examines whether information technology (IT) and decentralized work organization are complementary only for large firms or also for smaller firms. Empirical evidence, which suggests complementarity between IT and decentralization, is mainly based on large firms. Using data from a sample of 3292 SMEs and of 598 larger firms from the manufacturing and service sector in Germany, I can observe firms’ IT intensity in terms of enterprise software and computer use and whether firms have a decentralized work organization. I find that SMEs with decentralized work practices tend to use IT more intensively. Moreover, for the sample of SMEs, IT and decentralized work organization are individually associated with higher productivity but the combination of IT and decentralization does not yield a productivity premium. Contrarily, for the sample of larger firms, the results show that the productivity of IT depends positively on decentralization. The findings suggest that combining IT and decentralized work organization seems to be a successful strategy only for larger firms.

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Rasel, Fabienne (2014) Combining technology and work organization : an analysis of complementarity between IT and decentralization across firms of different size. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 14-071 [Working paper]
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