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Values, co-operation and lifetime employment

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Many types of work in an organization can be characterized by high degrees of discretion on the part of interdependent workers. Thus their productivity increases if effective co-operation can be achieved in this game situation. This paper will analyze the relationships among the values individuals possess, their co-operative behavior, and cultural and institutional factors that affect the outcomes of games played within an organization. Under lifetime employment some values (and beliefs) generate more co-operation and increase productivity. Moreover, lifetime employment per se, as well as its effects through communication, persuasion, etc., change workers' values in favor of co-operation. In particular, it will be shown by an experiment that co-operative workers will not be victims if communication and/or persuasion is undertaken suitably. It will also be argued that culture is an important determinant of the prevalence of lifetime employment in a society.

Keywords: Co-Operation; Employment; Games; Job Security; National Culture; Values

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-02-01

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