Innovative Work Practices and Sickness Absence: What Does a Nationally Representative Employee Survey Tell?

Working Papers 255 Petri Böckerman, Edvard Johansson Edvard, Antti Kauhanen

The paper examines the effect of innovative work practices on the prevalence of sickness absence and accidents at work. We focus on several different aspects of workplace innovations (self-managed teams, information sharing, employer-provided training and incentive pay) along with the “bundles” of those practices. We use nationally representative individual-level data from the Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey from 2008. Using single equation models, we find that innovative work practices increase short-term sickness absence for blue-collar and lower white-collar employees. In twoequation models that treat innovative workplace practices as endogenous variables we do not find relationship between innovative work practices and sickness absence or accidents at work.

Keywords: Innovative work practices, workplace innovation, sickness absence, accidents
Published: 1.10.2009
JEL: I12, J28
ISBN: 978-952-209-074-4
ISSN: 1795-1801
Publication (PDF)