Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Beschäftigung, Arbeit und Unternehmertum in deutschen Kleinbetrieben



"The IAB-Establishment Panel indicates that smaller companies differ from larger ones in several ways. Differences in the employee and owner structure are reflected in the fact that smaller establishments offer knowledge-intensive jobs less often than larger establishments do, are generally owner-managed and usually appear in the market as independent companies without other branches. Differences in economic performance are reflected primarily in lower levels of productivity and wages, but also in the lower export rates of the smaller establishments.
The data also show that the rise in employment in 2010 - when the number of employees reached the highest level since German reunification - was very largely driven by employment growth amongst the smallest companies. The rise in employment, in turn, led to an increasing demand for skilled workers. The need for skilled workers and the scale of the problem in filling vacancies for skilled workers were the same as before the financial and economic crisis in 2008/2009. Smaller companies in particular had difficulties in recruiting skilled labour.
There were also differences between larger and smaller companies in the way in which fixed-term contracts and temporary agency workers are used. Only a small proportion of the smaller firms used employees with fixed-term contracts or temporary agency workers. In spite of the different framework conditions, the reasons for concluding employees with fixed-term contracts are similar in all size categories. The need for staff for a limited time only was given as the main reason. Overall, the findings indicate that for the majority of employees with fixed-term contracts, employment with fixed-term contract does not represent a bridge to a permanent job in the establishment in which they work.
There are also differences between smaller and larger companies in terms of the regulation of working hours. The contractually agreed working hours per week is longer in smaller firms than it is in larger ones. Order peaks still tend to be covered by overtime, especially in larger establishments. Because of the frequent lack of possibilities for compensating overtime work with time off, overtime leads, in smaller companies in particular, to an increase in annual working hours in the long term.
In comparison with larger companies, smaller firms more rarely offer training and in addition more frequently have difficulties in filling the training places that they offer. In 2010, most of training graduates stayed in the company that trained them after the training had completed. Smaller companies therefore had greater problems not only in attracting new employees and skilled workers, but also in retaining skilled workers and continuing to employ newly trained skilled staff. In addition, smaller firms offer further professional development less frequently than larger firms. Nevertheless, the proportion of employees with further professional development is at a similar level. Innovation and investment activities are also very dependent on the size of the establishments on the one hand and R&D activities on the other. Larger establishments and companies with R&D activities make innovations more frequently than smaller establishments or establishments without R&D activities. In addition, larger establishments invest more frequently than smaller operations. Considering investments per employee in the investing establishments, however, there are no differences between the individual size categories. ln smaller establishments the need for external capital is greater than in larger establishments." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))


Bibliographical information

Bechmann, Sebastian; Dahms, Vera; Fischer, Agnes; Frei, Marek; Leber, Ute; Möller, Iris (2011): Beschäftigung, Arbeit und Unternehmertum in deutschen Kleinbetrieben * Ergebnisse aus dem IAB-Betriebspanel 2010. (IAB-Forschungsbericht, 07/2011), Nürnberg, 110 p.