Three essays on the international workplace in Canada.
Walsworth, Scott John.
94 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2006.
general note
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-01, Section: A, page: 0363.
Some firms have responded to globalization by relocating production sites to lower cost regions; yet others have remained in Canada. For this latter group of workplaces, engaging with international competition and pursuing international opportunities often means adopting certain strategies and practices. This dissertation examines the behaviors and resulting performance outcomes of workplaces in Canada that have pursued an international strategy. It does so by making use of a unique nationally representative data set: the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey.The first chapter creates and validates a multi-criterion index that distinguishes international workplaces from domestic workplaces, by assigning a degree of workplace internationalization score to each workplace in the sample. In addition to traditional measures of foreign ownership and sales, the index measures international competitive pressures. The index is validated by identifying statistically significant relationships to behaviours commonly associated with internationalization.The final chapter employs the index from the first chapter to identify the effect the degree of workplace internationalization and its accompanying high-performance workplace practices have on the use of collective agreements in unionized workplaces. It is hypothesized that workplaces pursuing an internationalization strategy will substitute high-performance workplace practices for collective agreement clauses as a form of workplace control. Two types of clauses are measured: clauses that provide employees with equity and job security guarantees; clauses that provide employees with a level of control over the work process. The results show that while variable pay and employee involvement have a negative impact on the employee insurance clauses, development training has a positive effect on all of the clauses.The second chapter employs the index developed in the first chapter to examine the relationship between workplace internationalization, human resource practices, and innovation. The main findings report that the degree of workplace internationalization has a statistically significant effect on the likelihood of adopting certain human resource strategies known as high-performance workplace practices, such as variable pay and development training. These same practices are found to promote workplace innovation. The results also indicate that the international workplace is significantly more likely to introduce innovative products and services.
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