This proposal investigates how investments in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) affect firms’ ability to attract, motivate, and retain employees. The Researcher will examine the European context and investigate how OHS investments and practices of European firms impact their competitive advantage from human capital. The overall ambition of the proposed project is to investigate whether and when firms’ investments in employees’ health and safety yield returns in terms of rents from human capital. This project has two main research objectives. First, the Researcher will use matched employer-employee data from France to analyze how differences in safety investments and practices across firms explain cross-firm differences in human capital outcomes (Cross-firm analysis). Second, the Researcher will collect unique data from (at least) one organization to investigate how differences in safety practices affect employee hiring, performance, and turnover (Within-firm analysis). The proposed project extends the literatures on strategy and human resources by providing an innovative theoretical and empirical account of the relationship between OHS and competitive advantage from human capital. The impact of this project will affect several communities, including scholars in management and OHS, students, as well as business and policy professional.
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