2007 – Lisa Lynch

3rd Annual W.J. Usery Distinguished Lecture

“Organizational Innovation and the ‘New Economy'”

Dr. Lisa M. Lynch

Dr. Lisa M. Lynch

The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and The Usery Center hosted the third W.J. Usery Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, April 19, 2007, at 2pm. The guest speaker for the lecture was Dr. Lisa M. Lynch, William L. Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Dr. Lynch spoke on “Organizational Innovation and the ‘New Economy’.”

  • Coffee & Conversation: Students, faculty and staff engaged in informal conversation with Dr. Lynch over coffee and pastries before the lecture.
  • Seminar: The Usery Lecture was at 2pm in the 7th Floor Seminar Room, open to all.

About Lisa Lynch

Lisa Lynch, William L. Clayton Professor of International Economic Affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, is involved in an array of research projects whose unifying theme she describes as “how education and training of today’s workforce helps to ameliorate displacement caused by technology and trade, helps companies become more innovative, and generates benefits for the next generation.” Collaborating with Sandra Black at UCLA, Lynch is leading a multi-year project that examines the productivity, wage and employment outcomes associated with workplace innovation. With funding from the National Science Foundation, and using a longitudinal survey of US firms that Lynch co-developed with the U.S. Census Bureau, Lynch and Black have previously argued that a key factor in driving the recent growth in US productivity has been investment in “organizational capital”. In Lynch’s view, “organizational capital” – which includes workforce training, improvements in work design, and new management practices like performance-related pay and greater employee involvement in decision-making – has a significant impact on productivity, both directly and through synergies with other forms of investment, like information and communications technology. (Sandra E. Black and Lisa M. Lynch, “What’s Driving the New Economy? The Benefits of Workplace Innovation,” The Economic Journal, vol. 114, February 2004).

“There is still considerable experimentation by firms in workplace design and organization so our work helps to document what is working and not across a large and representative sample of US employers,” says Lynch, who on January 1, 200, became the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “Our audience is employers, unions, public policy makers and scholars. Employers and trade unionists from around the world are trying to evaluate in their own firms how successful (or not) various types of workplace innovations have been. There is also considerable interest from policy makers and scholars who are trying to understand the productivity miracle of the US. There is widespread agreement that investments in new technology helped spark the productivity growth surge we saw in the latter half of the 1990s. However, we argue that workplace innovation also played a significant role in this growth and this suggests that productivity growth may be sustainable even when investments in new technology slow down. We are currently examining the adoption process of companies of workplace innovation and how this is related to their investments in new technology.”