The relationship between improving working conditions and positive firm-level outcomes in SME’s
2013 – This presentation shows the results of an international literature review prepared for the ILO.
Aims of the study
The aim is to review the current state of knowledge on the relationship between improving working conditions (as related to the ILO Decent Work agenda) and positive firm-level outcomes in SME’s internationally.
Accepted were studies that have ‘Improving working conditions’ in general as independent variable as well as studies examining occupational Safety and Health, wages, working times, training and combinations (‘bundles’) of practices examined as a whole.
As ‘positive firm-level outcomes’ were accepted those identified by authors. They generally presented these as: improved productivity, higher profitability, improved rates of innovation, better staff retention, reduced employee turnover and improved customer satisfaction.
A multi-disciplinary and multi-ligual research team of twelve academics from Middlesex University Business School was formed to search for, review and synthesise research. Over 200 relevant items of research mainly in English but also in French and German were identified and reviewed and reported on through an agreed evaluation.
There was a theoretical framework developed based on resource-based view and social equity theory.
The literature provides stronges support for (strategic) Bundles of Practice and their relationships with all types of positive outcomes. Evidence for the relationship between individual practices and outcomes is generally weaker.
Croucher, R. (2013) The relationship between improving working conditions and Positive firm-level outcomes in SME’s. an international literature review prepared for the ILO by Middlesex University Business School London. London: Middlesex University. Website ILO: www.ilo.org