Cedefop, Eurofound and IZA Conference: Workplace and Management Practices

Organizers: Solomon Polachek (Binghamton University, New York and IZA), Giovanni Russo (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and IZA), Gijs Van Houten (Eurofound - European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), Konstantinos Tatsiramos (University of Luxembourg, LISER and IZA)
Date:August 20 - August 21, 2020

Submission Deadline:January 31, 2020
Notification of Acceptance:March 30, 2020
Final Papers Due:July 19, 2020

Event Manager:

Viola Hartmann

About the Conference

Firms differ in the ways they organise the workplace. Productivity differences between establishments have been linked to the different managerial practices adopted and types of workplace settings in place (High Performance Workplaces). The bundles of workplace practices adopted by establishments affect the quality of the work environment and the well-being of employees. Good workplaces experience less turnover and higher levels of employee engagement thus providing a link between the quality of the working life and business performance. Depending on their managerial strategy and the workplace practices they have in place, establishments design their jobs differently and have different success in leveraging the skills of their workforce. The mobilisation of human resources requires the right incentives to be in place. These may involve utilising various forms of union and non-union workers’ representation (such as works councils) or various forms of direct employee involvement. In turn, a better use of human resources can lead to efficiency gains through process innovation (for example, less machine downtime, better maintenance, improved work processes and customer care) and through a better exploitation of business opportunities, for example following improvements in product (or service) design, product (or service) innovation, or novel marketing methods. These differences at the workplace level can result in large variations in productivity between establishments, which are highly persistent, and contribute significantly to disparities in economic performance over time and across countries. Differences in productivity across establishments also drive cross-sectional wage inequality.

The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers studying organisational issues from an international comparative perspective. Contributions based on all sources of enterprise data are welcomed.

Two keynote lectures will be delivered by Professor Kathryn Shaw (Stanford University and IZA) and Professor Christopher Warhurst (University of Warwick).

Possible topics might cover (but are not limited to):

    • The effects of the adoption of managerial strategies and workplace practices on wages and other business outcomes
    • The effect direct and indirect employee involvement on business outcomes
    • The interplay between the adoption of general management practices and bundles of workplace practices
    • The relationship between job complexity and job tasks and skills use and the adoption of workplace practices
    • The importance of trust in the workplace
    • The effects of employee involvement on skill utilisation
    • Associations between bundles of workplace practices, skills strategies and innovation
    • Associations between bundles of workplace practices, skills strategies and productivity

The Program Committee will select and invite about 20 papers.

A selection of papers presented at the workshop will be included in a volume of the journal Research in Labor Economics(RLE).



The deadline for submission of draft papers (including at least preliminary empirical results) or full papers is January 31, 2020.

Access to the European Company Survey (ECS 2019)

Empirical contributions can be based on any data set.

Authors who would like to explore the possibility of using the latest wave of the European Company Survey can find the questionnaire used in the fieldwork here: https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/surveys/2019/european-company-survey-2019

Authors can request early access to the Cedefop and Eurofound ECS 2019 at the end of September or beginning of October 2019, conditional on committing to submitting a scientific paper that makes use of the data for presentation at the conference and subject to agreeing to the terms-of-use as stated in a confidentiality agreement to be signed prior to receipt of the microdata.

The ECS 2019 is a cross-sectional dataset collected in February-June 2019. The survey contains information on the skills mismatch, employee involvement, jobs from about 20,000 establishments in the 28 EU Member States.

Travel and Accommodation

Eurofound and Cedefop will reimburse expenses related to travel and accommodation for speakers and discussants invited to the workshop in line with their respective rules on reimbursement of travel, subsistence, and miscellaneous expenses of experts from outside the agencies.