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Title: Training, organizational learning and productivity : three essays on the Bangladeshi garment industry
Author: Menzel, Menzel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 3591
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis consists of three main chapters, which address different but related research questions, using original data collected during extensive field work in the Bangladeshi garment industry. After the introduction, Chapter 2 addresses possible reasons for the low share of women in supervisory positions in the Bangladeshi garment sector. Despite women making up 80% of the workers in the sector, they hold less than 10% of supervisory positions. Together with local partners, we designed a randomized intervention in which we trained equal numbers of male and female workers for supervisory positions, and placed them as supervisors on randomly selected sewing lines in their factories. Initially, lines with male trainees showed higher productivity, though this difference vanished after two months. Surveys of workers in the factories show that workers on all levels regard women as lacking the technical expertise to be good supervisors, while their leadership and other soft skills are regarded more favourably. However, extensive knowledge testing revealed that women have no less technical expertise, while management exercises and especially self rated ability revealed that women lack confidence and leadership skills compared to their male peers. This points to a mismatch between perceived and actual weaknesses of women as supervisors in that industry, which could prevent the management from taking effective measures to bring more women into supervisor roles. Chapter 3 studies the effect of knowledge exchange among line supervisors in these factories on productivity. Specifically, it addresses the wide spread practice in economics to measure learning among co-workers through productivity increases, which, however, could also be caused by other peer effects, such as competition or imitation. I show that similar productivity increases as commonly used as evidence for learning are prevalent in situations in which learning is unlikely. However, a randomized communication intervention implemented by the respective factory management at three factories shows that knowledge exchange on production processes among workers indeed increases the efficiency of workers. There is furthermore some evidence that this effect was stronger between socially connected workers. This effect of social ties in the communication intervention was based on social network data collected among supervisors in four garment factories. Chapter four discusses this network data in more detail, thereby contributing to several ongoing debates in network research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor