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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Cowell, Noel M; Singh,Gangaram
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Author Affiliation
Department of Management Studies
Paper/Section Title
Foreign-ownership and the diffusion of work innovations in a developing economy.
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Proceedings Title
Annual Conference of the Industrial Relations Research Association and the Canadian Industrial Relations Association.
Date of Meeting
June 24-29, 2004
Place of Meeting
Toronto, Canada
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Abstract
An important question, in many circles, is whether the entry of North American firms into the Caribbean under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)will result in better working conditions for workers in the Caribbean. Notes that no empirical evidence is available on this issue. This paper, addresses this omission. In developed countries (e.g., US, Canada, and UK), there is a well-established literature on high performance work system. Proponents of high performance work system argue that certain workplace practices are universally good and they help with the achievement of better firm performance (e.g., profitability). Unfortunately there is no consensus on the bundle of “good” workplace practices so assembles a comprehensive list of practices that have been proposed as a component of a high performance work system. Also uses data from over 200 firms in Jamaica to examine if there are significant differences in the diffusion of elements of the high performance work system by ownership. The data contain four mutually exclusive groups: wholly foreign owned (US, Canada, and UK), majority foreign owned, minority foreign owned, and wholly Jamaican owned. Analytical techniques include ANOVA and post hoc multiple range tests (e.g., SNK) to detect the difference in means between the groups. The results have many implications. For example, they would shed light on the pressing question of whether foreign owned firms use high performance workplace practices at a higher rate than local firms do. If this is true, then proponents of free trade can argue that firms from developed countries (US, Canada and UK) do contribute to the improvement of working conditions in developing countries (i.e., Jamaica).....
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