Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

Enterprise Product Strategies and Employer Demand for Skills in Britain: Evidence from the Employers Skill Survey

It is now widely recognised that employer demand for skills in Britain is quite low by comparison with several other industrialised nations, reflecting the fact that a large proportion of British enterprises have adopted relatively low value-added product (or service) strategies. In many companies, therefore, production tends to be concentrated towards the more standardised and less complicated end of the quality spectrum for which skill requirements are relatively low. At the same time there are certain industries where many British-based suppliers have apparently been pushed into higher value added activity as a result of competitive pressure from lower-cost foreign producers of low value added products.

To date much of the evidence on the incidence of product strategies has been based on international comparisons (typically involving case studies). There has been little quantitative research investigating differences between British-based companies in the links between product strategies, skill levels and indicators of economic performance.

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