NBER Shared Capitalism Project

When I first saw the term "shared capitalism" I was a little puzzled but the more I have looked into the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Shared Capitalism Project the more interesting I found it. Shared capitalism is defined  as "employment relations where the pay or wealth of workers is directly tied to workplace or firm performance."  Funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation and spanning more than 10 years, this project is just getting to the stage where you will soon see a finished University of Chicago publication. But in the meantime, you can find many of the chapters of this book in near final versions online. According to Joseph Blasi, one of the principals on the project:

The Introduction chapter which you can download at this web site (in the top position) will explain the project in some detail including the theoretical background, what we did, and our main empirical findings. In brief, we surveyed over 40,000 employees in 14 firms and hundreds of separate work sites and established a national random sample of the US working population using the General Social Survey (GSS) with a special shared capitalism set of questions on the 2002, 2006, and now 2010 GSS, as a control group.

In Appendix A, they define some of the terms that are common throughout the book. I thought it appropriate to highlight how innovation outcomes were defined:

Culture for Innovation: Mean of following items, all measured on a 1-4 scale (1=never or almost never, 2=sometimes, 3=often, 4=always or almost always) "How often do the following things occur in your facility?"

a) “Ideas for developing innovative products and services are put forward”

b) “Meaningful time is invested in testing good ideas for innovative products and services”

c) “Innovative ideas are carefully considered and fairly evaluated”

d) “Resources are made available to support and develop a good idea that could lead to an innovative product or service”

e) “People who have an innovative idea receive recognition for it”

f) “People who have an innovative idea receive financial rewards for it”

g) “My ideas for innovative products and services have been taken seriously”

Innovative Ideas: Mean of following items, all measured on a 1-4 scale (1=not at all, 2=very little, 3=to some extent, 4=to a great extent)

a) “I would be willing to be more involved in efforts to develop innovative products and services”

b) “I have good ideas for innovative products or services”

c) “I have good ideas for improvements in existing products and services”


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