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Call and Response: The Business Impacts of Systems to Improve Worker Voice
Last registered on April 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Call and Response: The Business Impacts of Systems to Improve Worker Voice
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007403
Initial registration date
April 05, 2021
Last updated
April 15, 2021 2:47 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Good Business Lab
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-11-07
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The garment manufacturing industry in many low-income countries is characterized by low wages and high turnover. Workers in these settings are typically limited in their ability to voice their concerns and grievances related to their jobs. Albert Hirschman’s seminal work – Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (1970) – posits that voice and exit are intimately related. We partner with a large garment firm in India to examine whether a technology-based worker voice tool can reduce exit and improve worker wellbeing. The worker voice tool we study here allows for two-way anonymous communication between workers and management. We also examine whether the effectiveness of this worker voice tool depends on the incentives faced by the HR teams assigned to deal with worker grievances.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Adhvaryu, Achyuta et al. 2021. "Call and Response: The Business Impacts of Systems to Improve Worker Voice." AEA RCT Registry. April 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7403-2.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The first intervention in this trial is an SMS-based worker voice tool for grievance redressal. The second intervention is an incentive structure for the Human Resources (HR) department to motivate efficient redressal of grievances.

Details about the worker voice tool :

The tool will provide an anonymous two-way communication platform between the workers in the factories and the Human Resources (HR) department. The workers can send in their grievance through a voice message or a text message to a designated number for the factory unit. The grievance appears on the dashboard of the factory HR and is allocated to the concerned HR representative for handling. The system will hide the phone number of the respondent to ensure the anonymity of the complainant. The HR representative will interpret the voice message or SMS and take appropriate action. If required, the HR representative can also send an SMS to the complainant to get additional information through the anonymous communication gateway.

Details about the incentive structure:
Rewards, in the form of in-kind gifts, are provided monthly and at the factory level (if the factory is eligible for the incentive, all members of the HR team receive the same incentive). Factories receive a reward if they fulfill several different criteria related to the speed and quality of the HR response.
Intervention Start Date
2019-11-25
Intervention End Date
2021-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes of interest include: retention, attendance, productivity, perceptions of HR/management, and workplace satisfaction.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Our secondary outcomes of interest include: worker loyalty, individual worker satisfaction, and attitudes towards reporting issues.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The research design involves 2 treatment arms and a control group:

a. Factories in the first treatment arm will get the worker voice tool.
b. Factories in the second treatment arm will get the worker voice tool and non-monetary incentives to the HR department.
c. Factories in control group do not receive the worker voice tool or incentives.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Used stratified random sampling on computer software ‘Stata’
Randomization Unit
Factory level randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
43 factories
Sample size: planned number of observations
70,000 workers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
There will be 14 factories in treatment arm 1 (worker voice tool), 14 factories in treatment arm 2 (worker voice tool and HR incentives) and 15 factories in the control group. The sample size will be approximately 24,000 workers per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power Calculations for administrative data are as follows: Outcome MDE for arm 1(Tool) MDE for arm 2(Incentive) Average Quitting: 11% 18% 0.53 Productivity: .025 .035 0.54 Absenteeism: 0.004 0.008 0.06 Power Calculations for survey data are as follows: Outcome MDE for arm 1 (Tool) MDE for arm 2 (Incentive) Outcome Standard Deviation Perceptions of HR: 0.14 0.23 0.98 Workplace Satisfaction: 0.05 0.08 0.49 Confidence Reporting Issues: 0.11 0.19 1.01 Individual Worker Satisfaction: 0.05 0.09 0.54 Worker Loyalty: 0.06 0.11 0.45
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Good Business Lab
IRB Approval Date
2019-09-20
IRB Approval Number
GBL082019
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Worker Voice Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: f47b4fcad94304b2885ebb3d591bcaf2

SHA1: 62737a70964f21719306773d981ad4791800457f

Uploaded At: April 15, 2021