School of Economics

2009 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 09/03
February 2009

Employee Involvement, Technology and Job Tasks

Francis Green

School of Economics
University of Kent

Abstract:

Using new job requirements data for Britain I show that there has been a rise in various forms of communication tasks: influencing and literacy tasks have grown especially fast, as have self-planning tasks. External communication tasks, and numerical tasks have also become more important, but physical tasks have largely remained unchanged. Although the classification of tasks as programmable or otherwise is found to be problematic, computer use accounts for much of the changed use of generic skills. Going beyond the technology, I investigate whether organisational changes requiring greater employee involvement explain some of the new skill requirements. Using either industry or occupation panel analyses, I find that employee involvement raises the sorts of generic skills that human resource management models predict, in particular three categories of communication skills and self-planning skills. These effects are found to be independent of the effect of computers on generic skills.

JEL Classification: J21, J23, J24, J29

Keywords: communication skill, literacy, numeracy, computers, autonomy.

To download the file in PDF format click here

School of Economics, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP

Undergraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827497, Postgraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827440 or email us

Last Updated: 12/03/2015