The Adoption of Job Rotation: Testing the Theories
This paper tests three possible explanations for why firms adopt job rotation: employee learning (rotation makes employees more versatile), employer learning (through rotation, employers learn more about individual workers’ strengths), and employee motivation (rotation mitigates boredom). Whereas previous studies have examined either establishment characteristics or a single firm’s personnel records, this study merges information from a detailed survey of Danish private sector firms with linked employer-employee panel data, allowing firm characteristics, work force characteristics, and firms’ human resource management practices to be included as explanatory variables. The results reject the employee motivation hypothesis, but support the employee learning and, especially, the employer learning hypotheses. Firms allocating more resources to training were more likely to rotate workers; rotation schemes were more common in less hierarchical firms and in firms with shorter average employee tenure; and both firm growth rates and firms’ use of nation-wide recruitment were positively associated with rotation schemes.