Labor resource internationalization as a factor of the sustainable competitiveness

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Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Economics, 2014, 6(159): 76−81 UDC 331 JEL J 2
I. Shevchenko, PhD student Kyiv National Economic Vadym Hetman University, Kyiv
The paper studies a role of labor resource in sustainably oriented international competitiveness. Economic development is now more driven by employment, labor resource and social conditions. That cause a change from economic to sustainably oriented competitiveness, reflecting the increasing role of labor resource and social conditions. Labor resource quality and internationalization n have a long-term influence on the sustainable competitiveness. CEE and NIS countries labor resource and social factors input into sustainable competitiveness are considering. The relevance of economic and social factors of Ukraine international competitiveness is assessed.
Keywords: labor resource, transitional economies, competitiveness, sustainably oriented competitiveness, competitiveness
Problem setting. Economic performance is driven, among others, by the factors conditions, including labor resource. Labor productivity is one of the measures of economic efficiency and competitive advantages. The global development becomes more directed towards employment and social results. Social impact of economic growth became more desirable, labor markets reforms playing key role in the economic policies. Labor resource and comparative unit labor cost are important for industries location, global production chains, foreign direct investments and technology transfer. Simultaneously labor internationalization and talents mobility are spreading across countries and transnational corporations.
Respectively labor resource and social factors becomes increasingly important for the competitiveness on all levels. Competitiveness assessment also should take into consideration not only economic factors and become more socially adjusted. This requires new theoretical approaches to competitiveness, role of labor resources and social factors, advancements of the methods of their analysis.
Analysis of the last research publications. Competitiveness studies are conducted on different levels such as product, firm, industry and country. Modern researches are focused on the competitiveness factors, measurement, dynamics of the countries competitiveness and its economic implications.
Content, economic role and contradictions of competitiveness are studied by Ukrainian researchers V. Bazylevych, G. Fyliuk, D. Lukianenko, E. Panchenko, A. Poruchnyk, O. Shnyrkov, O. Shvydanenko, Z. Varnaliy and others.
Factors, modern drivers, measurements and dynamics of competitiveness on micro- and macro-levels are studied by P. Levine, M. Mott, M. Obstfeld, M. Porter, D. Stiglitz, K. Shwab and others.
Researches outcomes are mostly related to competitiveness modern trends, innovations impact on competitiveness, production factors effective utilization, labor productivity, comparative assessment of countries international competitiveness.
Not studied parts of overall problem. Labor resource availability, cost and productivity of labor, employment, socio-economic factors and results become increasingly important for modern global and regional development. It raises an importance to study labor resource and social factors of competitiveness on all levels.
Competitiveness factors and measurements should be reconsidered with respect of labor and social factors, to be more socially adjusted. The overall theoretical and applied approaches should be studied in the long term view as sustainable competitiveness of the firm and country. This requires developing more comprehensive approaches to sus-
© Shevchenko I., 2014
tainable competitiveness, labor resources and social factors, analysis of socially-adjusted sustainable competitiveness.
Research goal and methodology. The article aim is to study the role of the labor resource as a factor of international competitiveness, its modification towards sustainable competitiveness and its measurement with reflection of labor and social factors.
The research objectives are:
• to identify evolution of research approaches to factors of competitiveness with respect of inclusion of social and labor factors-
• to argue a role of labor resource as a factor of sustainable competitiveness-
• to compare labor and social factors input to the growth and sustainable competitiveness in selected CEE and NIS countries.
The research methodology is based on the application of systemic method to study a complex interaction of factors and implications of competitiveness. It also involves index method for study factors input into sustainable competitiveness assessment, assuming that each of factors have specific measurements so that their systemic impact could be comparably assessed in index form.
The study based on assumption that recent global development should be focused on long-term sustainable socio-economic development, including sustainable competitiveness and effective utilization of labor resource. Economic competitiveness evolution towards sustainable competitiveness requires to study of labor resource development and implications.
Main results of research. A complex nature of competitiveness has encouraged different research approaches to its content and structure. Market competitiveness approach is focusing on the country, industry, firm results in comparison with others on the international markets. Economic development competitiveness approach is focusing on the factors and conditions which leading to increase total factors productivity and finally prosperity for population. Innovations competitiveness is considering as capability to generate innovations and adjustments to the changing external environment. Competitiveness also is a structured phenomenon which could be studied on different levels — product, firm, industry, region, country. Factors and institutional competitiveness also could be part of the specific studies.
Competitiveness content, factors and assessment has been modified along with changes in understanding of global and countries development. Development nowadays becomes more dependable and at the same time oriented towards employment and social results. Development results are considering not only in traditional terms of GDP, industrial output and labor productivity, but as socioeconomic economic development with greater inclusion of social factors and important role of social results. Social-economic development becomes more dependent and oriented on the social factors and labor resource. Respectively it requires more focusing on labor resource for competitiveness on all levels.
Labor resource has different aspects studied in economic, social, demographic, behavioral and management researches. Economic literature studies different aspects of labor resource such as labor economics, labor resource structure, labor market, employment, labor productivity etc. Globalization literature studies labor resource internationalization, global labor and talent mobility, international migration etc. Human resource management on the corporate level covering a large number of issues of utilizing labor as a production factor including personnel selection and training, work motivation, job performance, work culture.
Competitiveness studies also covering factors, economic results and international comparison, firm and country competitiveness etc. One of the leading approaches is competitive advantages concept and the theory of the nation'-s competitiveness founded by M. Porter and extended by other researches. According to M. Porter, competitiveness is determined by a & quot-diamond"- of: 1) factors conditions-
2) demand conditions- 3) company conditions — strategy, structure and ability to rivalry- 4) related and supporting industries [12]. Such approach is developed in researches of Levin R., Obstfeld M., Sachs J. D., Sala-i-Martin X., Schwab K., and others. Different conditions such as level of the country'-s financial systems, innovations, education, social environment are studying as important conditions of firm and country international competitiveness.
Based on the M. Porter approach, the World Economic Forum has introduced analytical model and computation algorithm of the Global Competitiveness Index to measure set of factors and comparative levels of countries competitiveness [9].
Social and labor factors influence on the competitiveness have been presented in the multifactor model developed by D. Cho. In addition to the Porter'-s factors, such model includes a human resource factors presented in four groups -employees, politicians and bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, professionals (as engineers, scientists etc). [6] Such approach has been further developed by D. Cho and others in the '-double diamond'- model of, where Porter'-s & quot-diamond"- represents so-called & quot-physical"- factors and second diamond represents four groups of human resource factors [6].
Factor-based interpretation of competitiveness is complementing with functional-institutional approaches. Global economic and labor flows, unstable environment, importance of employment and social cohesion have encouraged studies of socio-economic development, sustainable growth of firms and countries. A. Berg and J. Ostry argue a necessity to account social factors and overcoming of economic inequality for sustainable development [5]. A. Green, J. Preston, G. Junmaat have studies an interdependence of education, better equality and social interaction in the course of sustainable development [11]. Studies of the labor and social factors are supporting development of approaches to long-term competitiveness.
Labor resource could be studied primarily in context of factor and functional competitiveness on different levels -from firm to country. Economic aspects of labor resource input into competitiveness should also be complemented with social aspects.
Economic globalization and labor internationalization are influencing on changing patterns of factor conditions and efficiency. Competitiveness on all levels (product, firm, industry, country) changing over time due to domestic and international factors.
There are some ways to improve competitiveness: 1) based on price competition at the expense of existing factor and investments advantages, and 2) based on quality (non-price) competition at the expense of build-up competitive advantages arising from labor quality, skills, health care, social cohesion, innovations, education, productivity.
Competitiveness could be defined as the capacity and efficiency of the firm, industry and country to create and distribute products and services based on competitive advantages over others, the ability to ensure continuous development in innovations, productivity and quality. Therefore price competitiveness would be considered as arising from limited-term advantages, but other qualitative factors may support long-term and sustainable competitiveness.
Population and labor resource development are key sources and an important purpose of economic growth.
Human development is a time-lengthy process with different characteristics — demographical, educational, productivity, economic, social, cultural and others. Therefore different terms are using to explain individuals participation in economic activity. & quot-Labor force& quot- is considering as those who conduct job in the organizations and get paid for such job. & quot-Human resource& quot- are employees of the organization who are object of management, have applied skills and qualifications, under influence of job motivation. & quot-Human capital& quot- concept has been developed by economists of the & quot-Chicago School& quot- and makes emphasis on the people'-s knowledge, skills and abilities that ensure labor productivity.
The term & quot-labor resource& quot- is considered more applicable in the context of long-term approach to growth, sustain-
able socio-economic development and competitiveness. In this article labor resource is considering as a people of employable age that possesses skills and knowledge developed over long period of time and used to increase productivity, their employment is due to the job market conditions.
A cross-country overview of labor resource could be approached using the suggested comparative matrix of the human and labor resource development as a factor of international competitiveness. The quantitative and qualitative data of the employable population aged 18 and more could be structured in the labor resource matrix for comparative analysis.
Figure1. Human and labor resource dimensions
Indicators Labor resource data
Population — population number — population density — workable age population
Human and labor resource structure — by age and sex — urban and rural — employment structure
Human and labor resource quality — educational level — qualification level — life-long training
Labor cost and productivity — average wage — average cost of labor — labor productivity
Labor market — unemployment level — unemployment structure — jobs creation
Firm labor resource — firm employees average number — firm skilled and semi-skilled labor — firm management and professional staff — firm employees rotation ratio — firm average wage
Internationalization of labor resource — transnational corporations employment — migrant workers number and share in the host countries — migrant workers number and share in the home countries — migrants transfers value and ratio to GDP of home countries
Source: author'-s composition
Labor resource quality, social conditions and global civilization trends (information technologies, labor mobility, cross-cultural communications) are influencing on the nations competitiveness. Human and labor recourse formation is still within national borders, but global imperatives influence getting stronger. At the same time labor resource utilization becomes more internationalized.
Traditionally labor resource is studied on the firm and country levels. Such approach should be more complemented with a study of labor resource internationalization. As result of economic globalization, labor resource formation and utilization should be considered as international process which has many dimensions including increase of non-core nationalities, migration, in country employment by foreign companies, cross-border labor mobility, spillover of international standards of work and living etc. Human and labor resource internationalization becomes a driver of domestic and international competitiveness of firms, industries and countries. Labor resource impact on international competitiveness could be considered in different respects:
1) Labor resource quantitative and qualitative characteristics in countries and regions — availability, quality and cost of labor resource is considered as important factor in the international location of the goods and services production, global networks and value chains. Production of labor and technology intensive goods is moving to the countries with large and relatively inexpensive human resources. In terms of international competitiveness the education and
training in different countries have to meet internationally recognizable standards.
2) Labor international mobility — cross-border labor mobility is skilled workers flows by economic reasons, relocation of talents by educational and professionals motives. International migration is also dependent on the economic conditions in different countries, financial and political vulnerabilities. Respectively migrants money transfers to home countries are significant part of global financial flows.
3) Labor resource of transnational corporations (TNCs) — TNCs have factor- and market-driven production location and employment policies in order to make efficient global value chains. The emphasis is on the combination of high technologies and low-cost labor. TNCs in services and high technologies intensively use international recruitment and professional rotation on cross-countries basis. Negative international spillover arises when TNCs announces large layout programs for 2−3 years usually affecting most of the countries of operations.
4) labor quality internationalization — TNC global networks, modern technologies dissemination, international migration are causing the international transfer of the educational standards, labor skills and employees qualifications, social and environmental conditions-
5) labor international communication — more people have global access to ITC and Internet which gives an opportunities for access to information, communication and adaptability.
Table 1. FDI and labor resource productivity in the TNCs, mln. USD.
1990 2011 2012 2013 2013 to 1990, %
FDI inflows 20B 1700 1330 1452 б98,1
Sales of TNCs foreign affiliates 4723 2Вб1б 31 352 34 508 730,б
Employment by TNCs foreign affiliates, thousand 20б2б б341б б71бб 7072б 342,9
Sales of TNCs foreign affiliates related to 1 employee 0,229 0,449 0,4бб 0,488 213,1
Source: author'-s calculations based on [17, p. XVIII]
FDI inflows, sales and assets in TNCs during a long time have been increased in approximately similar pace. At the same time foreign investments are envisaged the modern technology and know-how transfer, better training, which increased labor productivity calculated as sales per 1 employee for more than twice in 1990−2013. So the labor resource internationalization also has increased its input into competitiveness.
Labor resource and social conditions role in competitiveness should be reflected in respective measurements. Actual approaches to measuring labor resource and social conditions progress could be considered within the scope of competitiveness analysis.
Competitiveness analysis use index method that allows adjustment of specific indicators and components into comparable set of indexes. Competitiveness indexes are used for international comparison (for example, International Competitiveness Indexes of the Institute of Management Development in Lausanne) or country analysis (UK Competitiveness Index).
The globally recognized concept and set of measurements of competitiveness has been developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). WEF defines competitiveness as a set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country [9]. Increase of
On the factor-driven growth stage only basic social services related to labor resource such as public health and primary education are accounted in the GCI. On the efficiency-driven growth stage, more factors influencing labor resource quality are included into GCI — higher education and life-long learning, labor market efficiency and technological improvements. The last one is important, because innovations enforcing the requirements to the labor resource quality, retraining and adaptability.
Most of CEE and CIS countries are considered on the transition from efficiency-driven to innovation-driven growth. Innovations require high labor resource quality, life-long learning and talents mobility. Meanwhile, the least developed new EU members Bulgaria and Romania as well as Ukraine are assessed to be on the efficiency-driven stage.
WEF have developed competitiveness measurement with respect to sustainability. The GCI is adjusted with social
productivity level provides the sustainable basis of prosperity that the economy can achieve. Thus, more competitive countries based on prodactivity of their economy can create the conditions for high living standards and social development for their citizens. Productivity level also determines the level of the rates of return of investments in the economy, they are drivers for economic growth potential of the counrty, therefore the more competitive economies are more likely to have higher growth potential. However, competitiveness should not be only indicated by the economic performance of the country, but should also concider factors such as quality of life, knowelege, education, innovations, environment etc. Based on the above mentioned approach, WEF defines 12 pillars of components that are not only interalated but also tend to renforce one another. The actual construction of the WEF Global Competitiveness Index involves the aggregation of the 12 pillars into a single index.
Labor resource and social conditions in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI) respectively to the individual country stage of economic development. Educational and professional level of labor resource considered as determinants of labor productivity, adaptability to market demands, high technologies and external shocks. WEF GCI assesses different importance of labor resource and social conditions.
and environmental factors and transformed into Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index — GCI [10]. It covers a set of institutions, policies and factors which supports nation'-s productivity for a long term at the condition of supporting social and environmental sustainability [10]. Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index has two pillars — social and environmental sustainability.
Social sustainability pillar covers a set of institutions, policies and factors which provides to all members of society a possibility to get a health care, inclusion and safety in order to maximize their potential input and reward from the economic wellbeing of the country where they live [10]. Social sustainability pillar sets an interconnection between human and labor resource conditions and their effective utilization for the personal and country benefits.
Table 2. Labor and social factors in the WEF Global Competitiveness Index
Stage of growth Labor and social factors of competitiveness Ratio of labor and social factors in the general competitiveness index, %
Factor-driven growth Public health and primary education 25
Efficiency-driven growth Total labor and social conditions 44
Source: author'-s calculations based on [9, p. 53]
Access to basic necessities Vulnerability to shocks Social cohesion
Access to sanitation Vulnerable employment Gini index
Access to quality water Extent of informal economy Social mobility
Health protection Social safety net protection Youth unemployment
Figure 2. WEF sustainably-adjusted competitiveness index: social sustainability pillar
Source: author'-s composing based on [10]
Components of the social sustainability pillar are covering conditions for development and better utilization of labor resource and development of social cohesion.
Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index is calculating by WEF not for all countries covered by GCI due to the countries information availability. It does not provide possibility for analysis of both indexes comovements and detailed estimations of social factors input into economic competitiveness.
The comparison of labor and social factors could be assessed based on the Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index. The sub-index of Social Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index (SSACI) reflects the correlation of human and social factors with overall country competitiveness. The last index data for the CEE and CIS countries will be assessed with respect of changes of the countries competitiveness and economic growth.
Table 3. WEF Social Sustainable-Adjusted Competitiveness Index (SSACI) and Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in selected cEe and CIS countries, 2012−2013
Country/ index, year SSACI 2012 SSACI 2013 GCI 2013 р SSACI 2013 to 2012
Czech Republic 4,85 4,77 4,43 -0,12
Estonia 4,82 4,93 4, б5 0,11
Latvia 4,55 4,80 4,40 0,25
Lithuania 4,52 4,7б 4,41 0,24
Kazakhstan 4,53 4,20 4,41 -0,33
Poland 4,32 4,50 4,4б 0,18
Russia 4,09 4,20 4,25 0,11
Ukraine 4,04 3,90 4,05 -0,14
Moldova 3,75 3,91 3,94 0,1б
Romania 3,71 3,97 4,13 0,2б
Source: author'-s calculations based on: [9, p. 6,15,67- 10, p. 6, 68, 69]
Social Sustainability-Adjusted Global Competitiveness Index (SSACI) in Ukraine is slightly below of the respective indexes of the Central European countries, but higher than in Romania which is EU member as well.
Comparative assessment provides information for some considerations as for countries general and socially-adjusted competitiveness trends.
Parallel increase of countries general and socially-adjusted competitiveness could be interpreted as an implication of general interdependence of economic and social development. At the same time in Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Ukraine the SSACI decreased in 2013 which could be attributed to influence of post-crisis economic slowdown.
Some CEE countries which are more economically advanced, have higher SSACI in comparison with overall competitiveness index GCI. It could be interpreted as substantial influence of the labor resources and social conditions on competitiveness.
At the same time less economically developed CIS countries, Moldova and Romania have lover levels of SSACI.
Comparative assessment by the WEF Social Sustainable-Adjusted Competitiveness Index shows that CEE countries being the EU members are more competitive in social terms. It reflects better provision of social services and conditions for the labor resource according to the EU requirements. But few CEE countries could be considered as less socially sustainable as CIS countries — non-EU members. It raises an issue of improving methodology and data for the better assessment of the economic and so-cially-sustainable competitiveness and growth.
Conclusions. Economic growth volatility in the global instability raises importance of sustainable development and competitiveness.
Labor resource formation and utilization should be considered not only on the country level, but as international process which has many dimensions including increase of non-core nationalities, migration, in country employment by foreign companies, cross-border labor mobility, spillover of international standards of work and living etc. Labor resource internationalization becomes a driver of domestic and international competitiveness of firms, industries and countries.
Sustainable long term competitiveness under current global instability become more driven by labor and social
factors. It takes to fostering the international comparison of the human resource development and internationalization. The index analysis of social factors of competitiveness should be combined with development of the methodology the overall evaluation of the socio-economic progress.
Sustainability policies should be developed as a part of the corporate and nation-wide strategies. Sustainable competitiveness on the all levels — firm, industry, country -should be laid out as a foundation of the economic, regulatory and social reforms.
Human resource larger input into sustainable competitiveness could be achieved under provision of economic and structural reforms.
Health protection could be reformed on the economic ground of the compulsory medical insurance, health care technological and organizational modernization, improved access to medical services.
Educational reform should be based on the schools and universities optimization, reforming of state budgeting, research-oriented transformation of universities, implementation of life-long learning on all levels.
Labor market reforms should motivate new jobs creation, labor quality and mobility, improved motivation for labor quality and productivity.
Structural reforms should be coordinated with fiscal, budget and regional management reforms in order to effective utilization of resources for social development.
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Надійшла до редколегії 12. 05. 14
І. Шевченко, асп.
Київський національний економічний університет імені Вадима Гетьмана, Київ
Стаття розглядає роль людського ресурсу у формуванні стійкісно-орієнтованої конкурентоспроможності. Економічний розвиток все більше визначається зайнятістю, людським ресурсом та соціальними умовами. Узагальнено теоретичні підходи до аналізу ролі людського ресурсу в системі розвитку конкурентоспроможності. Розкрито значення соціальних і людських факторів міжнародної конкурентоспроможності в сучасних умовах. Виявлено вплив людського ресурсу на міжнародну конкуренцію. Визначено співвідношення рівнів соціально-адаптованої конкурентоспроможності в окремих країнах Центральної Європи, СНД та України. Накреслено шляхи посилення реформ для реалізації потенціалу людського ресурсу в інтересах національної конкурентоспроможності.
Ключові слова: людський ресурс, трансформаційні економіки, конкурентоспроможність, соціально-адаптована конкурентоспроможність, індекси конкурентоспроможності.
И. Шевченко, асп.
Киевский национальный экономический университет имени Вадима Гетьмана, Киев
Экономическое развитие все более определяется занятостью, человеческим ресурсом и социальными условиями. Обобщенно теоретические подходы к анализу роли человеческого ресурса в системе развития конкурентоспособности. Раскрыто значение социальных и человеческих факторов международной конкурентоспособности в современных условиях. Обнаружено влияние человеческого ресурса на международную конкуренцию. Обнаружено влияние человеческого ресурса на международную конкуренцию. Определенно соотношение уровней социальноадаптированной конкурентоспособности в отдельных странах Центральной Европы, СНГ и Украины. Начерчены пути усиления реформ для реализации потенциала человеческого ресурса в интересах национальной конкурентоспособности.
Ключевые слова: человеческий ресурс, трансформационные экономики, конкурентоспособность, социальноадаптированная конкурентоспособность, индексы конкурентоспособности.

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