Influence costs and the reporting of skill deficiencies

Duncan Watson, Robert Webb, Steve Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


There remains a conventional wisdom amongst economists that the UK suffers from a seriously under-skilled workforce and that an effective increase in the provision of training is key to economic regeneration. This article, while accepting the link between an underskilled workforce and economic performance, questions the reporting of skill shortages by personnel departments. This is based upon the notion that employees can spend considerable time attempting to influence decision-makers over and above their actual worth. We investigate whether personnel departments use concerns, and the ambiguous nature of, skill shortages to manipulate the reporting of skills at the organizational level. Copyright © 2006 The Tavistock Institute ®.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-59
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Influence costs
  • Probit analysis
  • Skill shortages


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