Batten Institute

Clair Brown





Bio: Clair Brown is Professor of Economics and Head of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society at the Institute of Industrial Relations at the University of California, Berkeley. She was Director of the Institute from 1992 to 1997 and Director of its National Center for the Workplace from 1993 to 1996. Professor Brown is a founding CEO of GetSkilz, Inc., a company that provides business owners with Web-based solutions to meet government regulations and industry standards, and to minimize legal liability from assessment through documentation, utilizing innovative video training and dedicated hardware. Professor Brown is also Director of the Competitive Semiconductor Industry’s Human Resources Program.

She has published research on many aspects of the labor market, including labor market institutions, firm employment systems and firm performance, wage determination, and the standard of living. She is the editor of Shifting Focus of Value Creation in the Semiconductor Industry: Interim Report (University of California, Berkeley, 2001). Her research has shown a significant relationship between firm performance and human resource systems. Her research on the firm employment systems and macroeconomic institutions in the United States and Japan is presented in Work and Pay in the United States and Japan (with Yoshifumi Nakata, Michael Reich, and Lloyd Ulman; Oxford University Press, 1997).

Professor Brown serves on the International Advisory Panel at University Malaysia Sarawak. In addition, she was on the Board of Trustees at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, AFLCIO, from 1995 to 1998.

Expertise: Innovation Dynamics in the Electronics Sector–research expertise: market institutions, firm employment systems and firm performance, wage determination, and standard of living; industry expertise: semiconductors, consumer electronics, new economy start-ups, telecommunications, and automobiles


Fellowship Focus: For her Batten Fellowship, Clair Brown and her faculty host, Melissa Appleyard, will pursue new insights into the dynamics of the electronics industry and those industries intricately linked to it. The experimentation and entrepreneurial ventures undertaken during the last years around the globe have introduced new business models and broken down long-established ones. This research should foster an understanding of which changes are enduring in inter-industrial structures and will determine the pace and direction of innovation in high-tech sectors central to economic growth.

A major component of the Fellowship will result in Professor Brown and Professor Appleyard writing a publication with Linda Sattler contrasting the management of semiconductor engineers in this high-stakes environment. A second output from the Fellowship will include one practitioner paper in cooperation with Greg Linden. This paper will shed light on how “life after Wintel” is evolving by examining who is adding value and who is capturing value in the emerging post-PC era.

The Fellowship will include cutting-edge analyses of the players constituting the Internet infrastructure.  

Contact Info

Appointment: 2002 

Publications & News


Work and Pay in the United States and Japan (co-author) (Oxford University Press, 1997)

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