The impact of plant dominance on employer personnel policy and local labour market behaviour

McPhail, Cameron Ian (1982) The impact of plant dominance on employer personnel policy and local labour market behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The basic objective of the research project was to model and subsequently identify the impact of plant dominance on labour market behaviour. To achieve this aim the research was undertaken as two partly related but largely complementary exercises. In one exercise the investigation concentrated on examining how dominance influences labour market behaviour and personnel policy at the plant level. By contrast the second exercise was concerned with the more general topic of how plant dominance affected the performance and efficiency of its LLM environment. In support of the investigation into plant dominance the research also involved a considerable amount of preliminary work which, although not directly concerned with dominance p had to be undertaken in some depth to ensure that the empirical work was set on a sound and comprehensive statistical base. In terms of investigating the impact of plant dominance on personnel policy the project initially developed a fairly sophisticated model of dominant plant behaviour which was based on a significantly enhanced version of standard monopsony theory. This model was then used to compare the behaviour of dominant plants with similar plants operating in separate and more competitive local labour markets. Following this, and covering a quite different aspect of dominance, a model of how dominant plants relate to other plants within the same local labour market was also developed. This was based largely on the presumption that the large absolute size of the dominant plant would differentiate it from other plants located within the local labour market. The predictions generated by both these models suggested that dominant plant behaviour would be distinguishable across a range of local labour market variables. However, given the complexity of the variables involved in the exercise and the nature of the interactions between them it was not feasible to derive a unique and all-embracing model of dominant plant behaviour. Testing the hypotheses relating to dominant plant personnel policy was a difficult exercise which, among other things, involved empirically identifying local labour markets, analysing local labour market industrial structure and subsequently pinpointing dominant plants, and gathering detailed establishment level information on dominant plants and the appropriate control groups. Although there were many practical problems associated with each of these steps, it remained possible to overcome the principal difficulties and thereby test the predetermined hypotheses with confidence that the results would reflect with reasonable accuracy the impact of dominance on labour market behaviour. In very general terms the results of the empirical analysis were, by and large, consistent with the theoretical predictions that dominance would affect many features of an employer's labour market behaviour. Of the two separate aspects of dominance identified by the project the impact of size on plant behaviour was the most evident. The influence of monopsony on dominant plant behaviour was less profound in that although it appeared to affect most key labour market variables its importance seemed to be secondary. AS explained previously, examining the wider impact of plant dominance on local labour market behaviour was largely a separate exercise which involved constructing a quite different theoretical model and its associated dataset. That is, rather than examining the behaviour of the dominant plant group and subsequently contrasting their behaviour with other establishments, this part of the study extended the scope of the analysis by focusing on the overall performance and efficiency of dominated local labour markets, and in particular the behaviour of unemployment and vacancy rates in dominated local labour markets. Broadly speaking the principal prediction of the local labour market based model of dominance was that plant dominance will tend to minimise the mismatch between unemployment and vacancies through its influence on the job generation process and local labour market information flows. Hence dominance should have a positive effect on local labour market performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Alan McGregor
Keywords: Labor economics
Date of Award: 1982
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1982-73775
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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