Economic theory and the challenge of innovative work practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


A fundamental finding of the current empirical industrial relations and human resource management research is that similar types of firms producing similar types of products adopt different sets of work practices or cultures even when working under the same institutional environment, Only a small minority of firms has adopted superior, often more cooperative work cultures. In sharp contrast to neoclassical theory, which predicts the dominance of the more efficient work cultures, a behavioural model of the firm presented here reveals that even under conditions of competitive product markets, firms can produce competitively using either the traditional, less efficient work cultures or the more efficient cooperative work cultures. The superior work cultures need not dominate simply as a consequence of market forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-290
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Behavioural economics
  • Work cultures
  • X-efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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