Skill Development, Bargaining Power, and a Theory of Job Design

27 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2018

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: Summer 2018


We examine the job design decision in the context of skill development and bargaining power. The choice between specialization and multitasking requires employees to develop either specialized or varied task‐specific skills. Employees' (i.e., the owners of the acquired skills) bargaining power depends on their skill sets, which differentiate their ability to hold up production and threaten to leave a firm. When a firm cannot meaningfully elicit skill investments through job design, it will pursue inefficient multitasking to reduce production holdups or inefficient specialization to prevent skilled employees from leaving. We obtain inefficient job design results only for mediocre ability workers.

Suggested Citation

Moon, Seongwuk, Skill Development, Bargaining Power, and a Theory of Job Design (Summer 2018). Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Vol. 27, Issue 2, pp. 270-296, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Seongwuk Moon (Contact Author)

Sogang University ( email )

Seoul 121-742
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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