IT is Never Too Late for Changes? Analysing the Relationship Between Process Innovation, IT and Older Workers

25 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2010

See all articles by Irene Bertschek

Irene Bertschek

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Jenny Meyer

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The paper analyses the relationship between two major challenges firms are faced to: using the potentials of information technologies (IT) as an enabler of process innovations on the one hand and an ageing workforce that might interfere these potentials on the other hand. Econometric results based on firm-level data from the German manufacturing and service sectors reveal that firms with a higher IT-intensity are more likely to introduce new or improved processes. Older workers are harmful to the probability of process innovation based on IT. Leaving the negative relationship between older workers and the probability to innovate unaffected, IT-specific training for older workers is conducive to the realisation of process innovations. Thus, not older workers in general are harmful to firms' innovation capabilities, but older workers who lack the appropriate IT skills.

Keywords: process innovation, information technology, older workers

JEL Classification: J14, L23, O31

Suggested Citation

Bertschek, Irene and Meyer, Jenny, IT is Never Too Late for Changes? Analysing the Relationship Between Process Innovation, IT and Older Workers (2010). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 10-053, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1663662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1663662

Irene Bertschek (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Jenny Meyer

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

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