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British Journal of Industrial Relations

Impact factor: 0.987 5-Year impact factor: 1.441 Print ISSN: 0007-1080 Online ISSN: 1467-8543 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subject: Industrial Relations & Labor

Most recent papers:

  • Are There Unexplained Financial Rewards for the Snakes in Suits? A Labour Market Analysis of the Dark Triad of Personality.
    Joanne Kathryn Lindley.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 20, 2017
    The Big Five personality test is used to generate psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism scores using a large UK individual level micro dataset. These scores show that high levels of narcissism and Machiavellianism can be associated with a higher incidence of employment in managerial occupations, while high levels of psychopathy are related to higher employment in the other services sector. The article finds a wage premium to Machiavellianism that is largest at the 90th percentile, over and above all productivity‐related explanations. The average hourly wage increase for a one‐point move up the Machiavellianism scale is around 2.1 per cent.
    September 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12269   open full text
  • Labour Market Dualism and Diversification in Japan.
    Hiroaki Richard Watanabe.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 01, 2017
    The Japanese labour market has been regarded as ‘dualistic’ in terms of employment status (regular vs non‐regular). While it is true, this perspective misses recent changes in regular employment in terms of labour flexibility. The government has attempted labour market deregulation since the 1990s to increase the flexibility of not only non‐regular but also regular employment, and the labour market has become more diversified. Labour unions lack power resources to resist these neoliberal changes, however, because of their insufficient access to policy‐making, low union density and a lack of solidarity against the background of economic stagnation and competition under globalization.
    September 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12258   open full text
  • Why Do Workers with Disabilities Earn Less? Occupational Job Requirements and Disability Discrimination.
    Douglas Kruse, Lisa Schur, Sean Rogers, Mason Ameri.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 31, 2017
    We analyse competing explanations for the lower pay of employees with disabilities, using 2008–2014 data from the American Community Survey matched to O*Net data on occupational job requirements. The results indicate that only part of the disability pay gap is due to productivity‐related job requirements. The remaining pay gap — experienced by employees whose impairments should not limit their productivity — reflects potential discrimination. The discrimination‐related pay gaps appear to be smallest and possibly non‐existent for women and men with hearing impairments, and largest for those with cognitive and mobility impairments. Overall the results indicate that discrimination is likely to remain an influence on the pay of many workers with disabilities.
    August 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12257   open full text
  • Government Regulation of International Corporate Social Responsibility in the US and the UK: How Domestic Institutions Shape Mandatory and Supportive Initiatives.
    Jette Steen Knudsen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 11, 2017
    While most scholarship on corporate social responsibility (CSR) focuses on company‐level CSR initiatives, it increasingly also examines government programs for CSR. However, research on how governments contribute to CSR has mainly focused on domestic and not international CSR challenges. This literature also does not specify whether governments shape CSR through mandatory regulation or supportive initiatives. This article adopts a process‐tracing approach to determine how governments regulate international CSR. It demonstrates that the legal and political systems in the liberal market economies of the UK and the US lead to different forms of public CSR regulation — notably in the areas of labour standards in apparel and tax transparency in extractives. The UK government has been more likely to support bottom‐up collaborative multi‐stakeholder initiatives, whereas the US government has favoured top‐down mandatory regulation.
    August 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12253   open full text
  • Blocked and New Frontiers for Trade Unions: Contesting ‘the Meaning of Work’ in the Creative and Caring Sectors.
    Charles Umney, Genevieve Coderre‐LaPalme.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 02, 2017
    Many jobs feature tensions between workers’ own motivations, and the objectives imposed on them by management or economic imperatives. We call these tensions ‘meaning of work conflicts’. We ask whether trade unions can intervene in them, or whether they are simply too subjective to be a credible campaigning focus. We examine two professional groups in Britain and France, musicians and healthcare staff. Among musicians, workers tend to negotiate meaning of work conflicts themselves, seeing little role for unions in this process. This engenders legitimacy problems that unions have had to find ways around. By contrast, in the hospitals sector, there is more scope for unions to campaign over the meaning of work, thus potentially increasing legitimacy among staff and the public. The difference is explained by the more diffuse and fragmented nature of employer structures in music, and the more chaotic set of motivations found among music workers.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12251   open full text
  • Positive Action Towards Gender Equality: Evidence from the Athena SWAN Charter in UK Medical Schools.
    Ian Gregory‐Smith.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 02, 2017
    This article provides evidence on the effectiveness of voluntary positive action in addressing inequality between female and male careers. The setting is UK medical schools where two natural experiments are exploited. The first is the introduction of the Athena SWAN charter in 2005, whereby 12 UK universities signed up to the principles of the charter. The second is the announcement in 2011 by the National Institute for Health Research to only shortlist medical schools with a ‘silver’ Athena SWAN award for certain research grants. This second change potentially impacts schools that are further away from silver status more than those that were already close in 2011. While there is a marked improvement of women succeeding in medical schools between 2004 and 2013, early Athena SWAN adopters have not increased female participation by more than other schools whose institution signed up later. In addition, tying funding to Athena SWAN silver status has yet to have an impact on female careers, although medical schools have invested in efforts to achieve silver status. Together, these results emphasize the challenges associated with addressing gender equality through voluntary self‐regulation.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12252   open full text
  • An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship between Employee Ownership and Employment Stability in the US: 1999–2011.
    Fidan Ana Kurtulus, Douglas Kruse.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 02, 2017
    Do firms with employee ownership (EO) programs exhibit greater employment stability in the face of economic downturns? In particular, are firms with EO programs less likely to lay off workers during negative shocks? In this article, we examine the relationship between EO programs and employment stability in the United States using longitudinal Form 5500‐CompuStat matched data on the universe of publicly traded companies during 1999–2011. We examine how firms with EO programs weathered the recessions of 2001 and 2008 in terms of employment stability relative to firms without EO programs, and also whether such firms were less likely to lay off workers when faced with negative shocks more broadly. In our econometric analyses, we use a rich array of measures of EO at firms, including the presence of EO stock in pension plans, the presence of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), the value of EO stock per employee, the share of the firm owned by employees, the share of workers at the firm participating in EO and the share of workers at the firm participating in ESOPs. We also consider both economy‐wide negative shock measures (increases in the unemployment rate, declines in the employment‐to‐population ratio) and firm‐specific negative shock measures (declines in firm sales, declines in firm stock price). Our results indicate that EO firms exhibit greater employment stability in the face of economy‐wide and firm‐specific negative shocks.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12254   open full text
  • Collective Bargaining and Technological Investment: The Case of Nurses’ Unions and the Transition from Paper‐Based to Electronic Health Records.
    Adam Seth Litwin.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 05, 2017
    Does the presence of a unionized nursing workforce retard US hospitals’ transition from paper‐based to electronic health records (EHRs)? After tying archival data on hospitals’ structural features and health information technology (IT) investment patterns to self‐gathered data on unionism, I find that hospitals that bargain collectively with their registered nurses (RNs) appear to delay or forego the transition away from paper, consistent with existing theory and research in industrial relations and institutional economics. However, this relationship is fully mediated by a hospital's payer mix: those serving a larger share of less lucrative, elderly, disabled and indigent patients are more likely to adopt EHRs if they are unionized than if they are not, a result that holds even at the median payer mix. Indeed, this accords with research on the interplay of labour and technology as the aforementioned dynamics are driven entirely by RN‐exclusive bargaining units for whom the new IT serves as a complement rather than as a substitute in production. Given the outsized role that unions play in the US healthcare sector, the overall sluggish performance of the sector, and the expectations that policymakers have for EHRs, evidence that these unions are welfare‐enhancing should be welcome news.
    July 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12249   open full text
  • In Unions We Trust! Analysing Confidence in Unions across Europe.
    Lorenzo Frangi, Sebastian Koos, Sinisa Hadziabdic.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 28, 2017
    Public institutions and trade unions in particular are often portrayed as facing a deep crisis. In order to better understand to what extent unions are still perceived as legitimate institutions from the society as a whole (working and non‐working individuals), we analyse the determinants of confidence in unions across 14 European countries between 1981 and 2009. Confidence in unions is explained through individual‐level variables (by a rational and an ideational mechanism) and contextual‐level factors (relevant economic and employment relations characteristics). Using data from the European Values Study (EVS) merged with contextual datasets, we develop a series of regression models to examine the main determinants of confidence in unions. We demonstrate that confidence in unions cannot only be traced back to the support from members and left‐wing oriented individuals but it is also related to non‐working individuals and vulnerable social groups, in particular when confronted with economic shocks. Our findings challenge both the ‘crisis of confidence’ in institutions and the ‘crisis of unionism’ narratives. Implications for union representation and organizing strategies are discussed.
    June 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12248   open full text
  • Short‐Time Work and Employment Stability: Evidence from a Policy Change.
    José M. Arranz, Carlos García‐Serrano, Virginia Hernanz.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 28, 2017
    This paper investigates whether short‐time work (STW) programmes achieve their stated goal of being devices intended to preserve jobs and keep workers employed in times of crisis. Our identification strategy exploits a change in the financial incentives provided to employers and employees for the temporary suspension of work contracts or the reduction of working time. We use longitudinal administrative data and estimate difference‐in‐differences regressions and instrumental variable bivariate probit models with endogenous covariates, which try to take account of the potential endogeneity of participation in STW. Our results suggest that discretionary policy changes in the incentives of STW schemes can be effective in the short run but they lose their ability when the decline in demand and the lack of work are more permanent.
    June 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12250   open full text
  • Who Fared Better? The Fortunes of Performance Pay and Fixed Pay Workers through Recession.
    Lucy Stokes, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Martin Weale.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 13, 2017
    Using the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, we explore whether the fortunes of employees paid for performance differ from those of fixed pay workers during recession. Only in the bottom quintile of the wage distribution were performance pay employees more likely to experience greater falls in real wages than fixed pay employees. Accounting for fixed unobserved worker characteristics suggests that this was not due to the wage‐setting mechanism itself, but that other factors are likely to be at play. While across most of the earnings distribution there was little evidence of greater wage flexibility among performance pay employees, they did have longer job tenure than fixed pay employees over the recession.
    June 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12245   open full text
  • Do Employee‐Owned Firms Produce More Positive Employee Behavioural Outcomes? If Not Why Not? A British‐Spanish Comparative Analysis.
    Imanol Basterretxea, John Storey.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 07, 2017
    Whether ‘employee ownership’ takes the form of worker cooperatives, co‐ownership or simply employee share ownership plans, there are normally high expectations that a range of positive outcomes will result. Yet many empirically based studies tend to find a much more complex picture. An influential segment of that empirical literature has posited the need for a number of mutually reinforcing workforce management components to be in place alongside co‐ownership. Drawing on detailed case research in two large and successful co‐owned retailers in Spain and Britain this paper examines the role of these wider elements supporting employee ownership. We find that employee ownership can be linked to higher productivity and lower employee turnover, while at the same time being linked to higher absenteeism and mixed effects on attitudes. Expectations held by managers and employees are higher; these expectations are not always fully met. The role of managers was also found to be crucial.
    June 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12247   open full text
  • Transnational Collective Agreements and the Development of New Spaces for Union Action: The Formal and Informal Uses of International and European Framework Agreements in the UK.
    Stephen Mustchin, Miguel Martínez Lucio.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 29, 2017
    Transnational collective agreements (TCAs) are an important development in the international dimension of industrial relations. This article compares four case studies of multinational companies in the UK covered by TCAs. Findings show that while the formal influence of TCAs was limited, they were invoked around particular disputes and could strengthen union influence in a context otherwise characterized by limited union rights. Such influence depended on the co‐ordination of workplace‐ and firm‐level industrial relations institutions, union access to management at headquarters level and union receptiveness to and outward engagement with transnational activity. The formal but also the informal dimensions of these dynamics played a significant role.
    May 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12244   open full text
  • When Industrial Democracy Meets Corporate Social Responsibility — A Comparison of the Bangladesh Accord and Alliance as Responses to the Rana Plaza Disaster.
    Jimmy Donaghey, Juliane Reinecke.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 18, 2017
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Industrial Democracy are two paradigmatic approaches to transnational labour governance. They differ considerably with regard to the role accorded to the representation of labour. CSR tends to view workers as passive recipients of corporate‐led initiatives, with little attention paid to the role of unions. Industrial Democracy centres on labour involvement: those affected by governance need to be part of it. Examining the Bangladesh Accord and Alliance as governance responses to the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, this article offers a comparative perspective of how Industrial Democracy‐oriented and CSR‐oriented initiatives translate into differences in implementation. The article highlights that while CSR can foster effective problem‐solving in the short run, Industrial Democracy is necessary to build governance capacities involving workers in the long run.
    May 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12242   open full text
  • We Want Them All Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity: Theory and Evidence from Germany.
    Florian Baumann, Tobias Brändle.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 18, 2017
    This article establishes a link between the degree of productivity dispersion within an industry and collective bargaining coverage of the firms in the industry. In a stylized unionized oligopoly model, we show that differences in productivity levels can affect the design of collective wage contracts a sector‐union offers to heterogeneous firms. Using German linked employer–employee data, we test a range of our theoretical hypotheses and find empirical support for them. The dispersion of sector‐level labour productivity decreases the likelihood of firms being covered by a collective bargaining agreement on the industry level, but increases the likelihood of firms being covered by firm‐level agreements. The results hold for different subsamples and (panel) estimation techniques.
    May 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12239   open full text
  • Ownership and Pay in Britain.
    Andrew Pendleton, Alex Bryson, Howard Gospel.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 12, 2017
    Drawing on principal–agent perspectives on corporate governance, the article examines whether employees’ hourly pay is related to ownership dispersion. Using linked employee‐workplace data from the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2011, and using a variety of techniques including interval regression and propensity score matching, average hourly pay is found to be higher in dispersed ownership workplaces. The premium is broadly constant across most of the wage distribution, but falls at the 95th percentile to become statistically non‐significant. This contrasts with earlier papers which indicate that higher level employees are the primary beneficiaries of higher pay from dispersed ownership. The dispersed ownership pay premium is not readily explained by efficiency wage perspectives but is consistent with a managerial desire for a ‘quiet life’.
    May 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12241   open full text
  • Conglomerate Unions and Transformations of Union Democracy.
    Adrien Thomas.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 12, 2017
    Confronted with membership losses and declining bargaining power, trade unions have engaged in both political and organizational responses. A frequent type of organizational response has involved the creation of conglomerate unions, which bring together workers from various sectors and occupations. Pointing out a number of parallels between organizational developments in trade unions and political parties, this article analyses the emergence of conglomerate unions as a cause and consequence of changing conceptions of union democracy. Drawing on two in‐depth case studies conducted in France and Germany, the article examines how trade unions perceive their situation and how they define a reform rationale based on increasing their organizational ‘efficiency’ and ‘effectiveness’. In accordance with this rationale, unions engage in mergers and create larger conglomerates, thereby centralizing decision‐making bodies and professionalizing their staff. The reform of trade unions’ internal organization, in turn, affects unions’ capacity for interest aggregation and representation.
    May 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12231   open full text
  • Off the Waterfront: The Long‐Run Impact of Technological Change on Dockworkers.
    Zouheir El‐Sahli, Richard Upward.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 09, 2017
    We investigate how individual workers and local labour markets adjust over a long time period to a discrete and plausibly exogenous technological shock, namely the introduction of containerization in the UK port industry. This technology, which was introduced rapidly between the mid‐1960s and the late‐1970s, had dramatic consequences for specific occupations within the port industry. Using longitudinal micro‐census data, we follow dockworkers over a 40‐year period and examine the long‐run consequences of containerization for patterns of employment, migration and mortality. The results show that the job guarantees negotiated by the unions protected dockworkers' employment until the guarantees were removed in 1989. A matched comparison of workers in comparable unskilled occupations reveals that, even after job guarantees were removed, dockworkers did not fare worse than the comparison group in terms of their labour market outcomes. Our results suggest that job guarantees provided a safety net which reduced the cost to workers of sudden technological change.
    May 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12224   open full text
  • The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Gender Diversity in the Workplace: Econometric Evidence from Japan.
    Takao Kato, Naomi Kodama.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 24, 2017
    Using panel data on corporate social responsibility (CSR) matched with corporate proxy statement data for a large and representative sample of 1,492 publicly traded firms in Japan over 2006–2014, we provide fixed effect estimates on the positive and significant effects on gender diversity of CSR. Such effects are, however, felt only after two to three years. The CSR effects are larger and more significant for firms that adhere more closely to the participatory Japanese management system. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of controls capturing the mediating effects of various work–life balance practices, pointing to the direct impact of CSR on gender diversity.
    April 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12238   open full text
  • (Re‐)Locating the Local and National in the Global: Multi‐Scalar Political Alignment in Transnational European Dockworker Union Campaigns.
    Katy Fox‐Hodess.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 06, 2017
    Labour activists have called for greater international co‐ordination among trade unions in response to the assault on organized labour by global capital, but such co‐ordination faces many hurdles. Under what conditions can unions overcome those barriers and co‐ordinate effectively to achieve campaign goals? I examine this question through a comparison of European‐level international solidarity with Portuguese, Greek and English affiliates of the International Dockworkers Council involved in labour disputes. The divergent outcomes of otherwise similar cases reveal the critical role of politics and strategy at different scales and sites of union organization in determining the successful exercise of labour internationalism.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12222   open full text
  • Short Notice, Big Difference? The Effect of Temporary Employment on Firm Competitiveness across Sectors.
    Romina Giuliano, Stephan Kampelmann, Benoît Mahy, François Rycx.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 04, 2017
    This article is one of the first to examine how the use of fixed‐term employment contracts (FTCs) affects firm competitiveness (i.e. productivity, wages and profits) while controlling for key econometric issues such as time‐invariant unobserved workplace characteristics, endogeneity and state dependence. We apply dynamic panel data estimation techniques to detailed Belgian linked employer–employee data covering all years from 1999 to 2010. Results show that the effects of FTCs on firm competitiveness vary across sectors: while temporary employment is found (at the 10 per cent significance level) to enhance productivity and profits in (labour‐intensive) services, this is not the case in manufacturing and construction.
    April 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12236   open full text
  • The Extent of Rent Sharing along the Wage Distribution.
    Alessia Matano, Paolo Naticchioni.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 04, 2017
    The relation between rent sharing and wages has generally been evaluated on average wages. This article uses a unique employer–employee panel database to investigate the extent of rent sharing along the wage distribution in Italy. We apply quantile regression techniques and control for national level bargaining, unobserved worker and firm heterogeneity and endogeneity. Our findings show that the extent of rent sharing decreases along the wage distribution, suggesting that unskilled workers benefit most from firms’ rents. By applying quantile regressions by occupational categories, we show that the decreasing pattern is mainly driven by blue collar workers, while estimates for white collars are higher and basically constant along the wage distribution. We also provide evidence that unions might represent one of the drivers of our findings.
    April 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12234   open full text
  • Accounting for Cross‐Country Differences in Employee Involvement Practices: Comparative Case Studies in Germany, Brazil and China.
    Martin Krzywdzinski.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 03, 2017
    Employee involvement is a contested concept in organizations. While the mainstream of the research debate has focused on measuring the strength of employee involvement (EI), this article emphasizes the existence of very different forms of EI. It draws on case studies of the German, Brazilian and Chinese plants of a German automobile manufacturer to analyse forms of EI and to investigate their societal determinants. The article reveals considerable differences in the design of employee involvement between the self‐organization model and the competition/social involvement model. It shows how industrial relations and cultural factors lead to these very different approaches.
    March 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12230   open full text
  • Might Corporate Social Responsibility Hollow Out Support for Public Assistance in Europe?
    Brian Burgoon, Luc Fransen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 03, 2017
    This article explores whether private regulatory activity to promote labour and social standards might hollow out traditional public regulations to provide welfare and labour protection at home and abroad. Such exploration has hitherto been frustrated by empirical limitations of measures of private regulatory activity and its implications for public regulation. The present article extends those limits by focusing on how new measures of labour‐related private regulation affect attitudes in 27 European polities towards welfare redistribution and for foreign assistance. Our analysis suggests that private‐regulatory CSR promoting labour and social standards may directly and indirectly diminish public support for domestic welfare redistribution, but appears to have little effect on support for foreign aid. We see, hence, possible crowding‐out only with respect to domestic, not international, assistance.
    March 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12227   open full text
  • The Impact of Acquiring EU Status on the Earnings of East European Migrants in the UK: Evidence from a Quasi‐Natural Experiment.
    Martin Ruhs.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 08, 2017
    On 1 May 2004, 10 new states — including the ‘A8’ countries in Central and Eastern Europe — joined the European Union (EU). This article explores the impact of EU enlargement on A8 workers who were already working in the UK before 1 May 2004 — legally or illegally. More specifically, the article analyses the impact of the change in the legal (immigration) status that A8 workers experienced on 1 May 2004 on their earnings in the UK. The empirical analysis employs difference‐in‐difference estimation using data obtained from a relatively small but unique survey of migrant workers from four of the A8 countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania) and two other East European countries (Ukraine and Bulgaria), carried out one month before and six to eight months after EU enlargement in May 2004. The results of this exploratory analysis suggest a statistically significant and positive impact of acquiring EU status on earnings. The data further indicate that, in part, this effect was brought about by A8 workers gaining the right to freely change jobs after EU enlargement. There is no evidence of a ‘legalization effect’ on earnings.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12223   open full text
  • The Developing Role of Unions in China's Foreign‐Invested Enterprises.
    Andy W. Chan, Ed Snape, Michelle S. Luo, Yujuan Zhai.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 17, 2016
    This article evaluates the development of Chinese enterprise unions, drawing on case‐study evidence from foreign‐invested enterprises in the Pearl River Delta. Findings suggest that it was difficult for such employers to resist the establishment of an enterprise union. However, they generally sought to co‐opt the union to meet organizational needs. Management strategy was critical in shaping the union's role, and our evidence suggests that this was influenced by factors such as home‐country policies, the expectations of overseas customers, management ideology and pressures from the ACFTU and the Party‐State to comply with the requirement for a union. The implications for the role of unions are evaluated.
    November 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12218   open full text
  • Contract Innovation in Germany: An Economic Evaluation of Pacts for Employment and Competitiveness.
    John T. Addison, Paulino Teixeira, Katalin Evers, Lutz Bellmann.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 11, 2016
    Pacts for employment and competitiveness are an integral component of the ongoing process of decentralization of collective bargaining in Germany, a phenomenon that has been hailed as key to that nation's economic resurgence. Yet little is known about the effects of pacts on firm performance. The evidence largely pertains to employment and is decidedly mixed. This article investigates the association between pacts and six outcome indicators using a framework in which the controls comprise establishments that negotiated over pacts but failed to reach agreement on their implementation. An extensive set of robustness checks are run to test the sensitivity of the key findings of the model. There is no suggestion of pacts negatively impacting any of the selected measures of establishment performance. Rather, the evidence points to some positive short‐ and medium‐run effects on firm average wages and possibly employment and innovation as well.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12219   open full text
  • International Evidence on the Perception and Normative Valuation of Executive Compensation.
    Andreas Kuhn.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 09, 2016
    This article describes individuals' perceptions and normative valuations of executive compensation using comparable survey data for 27 countries for up to four different years. A majority of individuals believe that executives earn more than they deserve, but there is substantial variation in the perceived as well as the just level of executive compensation both within and across countries. The analysis further shows that subjective estimates of executive pay are associated with objective measures of executive compensation and income inequality, and that individuals' perceptions and normative valuations of executive compensation are associated with their more general political preferences.
    November 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12214   open full text
  • ‘Fair Work’ and the Modernization of Australian Labour Standards: A Case of Institutional Plasticity Entrenching Deepening Wage Inequality.
    John Buchanan, Damian Oliver.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 09, 2016
    Australia was long recognized for its relatively compressed wage structure. From the 1940s to the 1970s this was associated with a comprehensive regime of ‘award‐based’ minimum wages. Since the 1980s, this has been subjected to comprehensive ‘modernization’. After three decades of reform and in the most supportive economic environment in the OECD, Australian wage inequality has deepened. Although multiple political‐economic forces have been at play, the evolution of Australia's labour standards regime is an example of ‘institutional plasticity’ whereby the purpose and operations of wage‐setting institutions not only evolves but can actually be inverted over time.
    November 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12215   open full text
  • Employer Organizations and Labour Immigration Policy in Australia and the United Kingdom: The Power of Political Salience and Social Institutional Legacies.
    Chris F. Wright.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 09, 2016
    This article examines employer organizations and labour immigration policy in Australia and the United Kingdom. Drawing on 102 elite interviews, it analyses employer organizations’ preferences and influence over recent reforms. The article builds on Culpepper's arguments relating to the significance of political salience and identifies the importance of various institutional factors, particularly social institutions, in shaping employer organizations’ decisions and engagement with the policy process. Political salience and social institutional legacies are critical for explaining why employer organizations played a central role in driving labour immigration reforms in Australia and a marginal role in the UK. Large intakes of workers from the European Union, which sustained immigration as a high salience issue and fuelled the Brexit campaign, also influenced the strategies of UK employer organizations.
    November 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12216   open full text
  • Instability and Change in Collective Bargaining: An Analysis of the Effects of Changing Institutional Structures.
    Bernd Brandl, Christian Lyhne Ibsen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 27, 2016
    Previous studies on collective bargaining structures and macroeconomic performance have largely ignored the role of stable and instable institutional structures and the effects of institutional change itself. In this article we posit that institutional stability of collective bargaining is of major importance for the moderation of unit labour costs growth. This hypothesis is tested on the basis of data which cover the period 1965–2012 and includes 28 countries. The results show that institutional change impairs the capacity to moderate unit labour cost growth significantly in the subsequent years following the change. This effect also holds for changes in both decentralization and centralization of institutions.
    September 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12207   open full text
  • Leveraging the Vertical: The Contested Dynamics of Sustainability Standards and Labour in Global Production Networks.
    Maja Tampe.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 20, 2016
    Sustainability standards for tropical agriculture promise better trade and fairer labour conditions for smallholders. Recent research on labour suggests that, besides such standards, configurations of buyer–supplier relationships crucially shape economic and labour conditions. However, a static configurational approach overlooks the role of supplier and labour agency over time. Using a matched case comparison of two certified rural enterprises in Ecuador, this article shows that suppliers can leverage standards to create value from vertical relationships with buyers. However, standards do not, by themselves, directly contribute to better conditions. They do so indirectly only if suppliers manage to become competitive in an elite market, augmenting rather than dampening unequal trade conditions. This study contributes to recent theory seeking to explain uneven labour outcomes with sustainability standards in global production networks.
    September 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12204   open full text
  • False Self‐Employment, Autonomy and Regulating for Decent Work: Improving Working Conditions in the UK Stripping Industry.
    Katie Cruz, Kate Hardy, Teela Sanders.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 01, 2016
    A large‐scale study of working conditions in UK‐based strip dancing clubs reveals that dancers are against de facto self‐employment as it is defined and practised by management, but in favour of de jure self‐employment that ensures sufficient levels of autonomy and control in the workplace. While dancers could potentially seek ‘worker’ or ‘employee’ status within the existing legal framework, their strong identification with the label ‘self‐employed’ and their desire for autonomy will likely inhibit these labour rights claims. We propose an alternative avenue for improving dancers’ working conditions, whereby self‐employed dancers articulate their grievances as a demand for decent work, pursued through licensing agreements between clubs and local authorities and facilitated by collective organization.
    September 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12201   open full text
  • From Towns to Hotels: Changes in Mining Accommodation Regimes and Their Effects on Labour Union Strategies.
    Omar Manky.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 30, 2016
    A radical shift in the spatial organization of the global mining industry has occurred over the last three decades. I argue that the shift from the traditional mining town, where workers lived close to the mine, to the new model of long distance commuting, where workers are transported in from distant cities for their shifts, transforms labour union strategies. Drawing on an in‐depth case study from Peru, I show that long distance commuting reduces workers’ capacity to mobilize locally by affecting the dynamics in three social spaces: the mining camp, the home and the union hall. Moreover, and in contrast to prior research, I detail how mining unions have developed new compensatory strategies to maintain their bargaining power.
    August 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12202   open full text
  • The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Labour Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data.
    Steffen Mueller, Jens Stegmaier.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 30, 2016
    We estimate dynamic effects of works councils on labour productivity using newly available information from West German establishment panel data. Conditioning on plant fixed effects and control variables, we find negative productivity effects during the first five years after council introduction but a steady and substantial increase in the councils’ productivity effect thereafter. Our findings support a causal interpretation for the positive correlation between council existence and plant productivity that has been frequently reported in previous studies.
    August 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12200   open full text
  • Unions and Collective Bargaining in the Wake of the Great Recession: Evidence from Portugal.
    John T. Addison, Pedro Portugal, Hugo Vilares.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 24, 2016
    Against the backdrop of its industrial relations architecture, characteristic of the ‘southern European group’ and intimately linked to the recommendations of the Troika, this paper examines four key aspects of Portuguese collective bargaining. First, it provides definitive estimates of private sector union density for that nation. Second, it models the determinants of union density at firm level. Third, it yields estimates of the union wage gap for different ranges of union density. The final issue examined is contract coverage. The received notion that the pronounced reduction in the number of industry‐wide agreements and extension ordinances of late is to be equated with a fall in coverage is shown to be a chimera, the number of workers covered by new and existing agreements remaining largely unaffected by the economic crisis. The reduced frequency of new agreements and extensions is instead attributed to downward nominal wage rigidity in low‐inflation regimes.
    August 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12198   open full text
  • What Explains the Union Membership Gap between Migrants and Natives?
    Maria Kranendonk, Paul Beer.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 05, 2016
    This article explores the differences in unionization rates between migrant and native‐born workers in 23 European countries. It explores whether individual characteristics or contextual factors explain the variation across countries in the degree of trade unions’ inclusion of migrant workers. The analyses show that individual characteristics cannot explain the variation in the difference between migrant and native unionization rates. Characteristics of the industrial relations regime in the country of destination, in particular the institutional embeddedness of trade unions, affect the likelihood that migrants join trade unions as compared to native workers.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12192   open full text
  • A Meta‐Analysis of the Union–Job Satisfaction Relationship.
    Patrice Laroche.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 05, 2016
    The purpose of this study is to provide a systematic and quantitative review of the existing empirical evidence on the effects of unionization on overall job satisfaction. We conducted a meta‐regression analysis (MRA) with results from a pool of 235 estimates from 59 studies published between 1978 and 2015. The accumulated evidence indicates that unionization is negatively related to job satisfaction but is far from being conclusive. When primary studies control for endogeneity of union membership, the results of the MRA indicate that the difference in job satisfaction between unionized and non‐unionized workers disappears. These results suggest that reverse causation (i.e. dissatisfied workers are more likely to join a union) and time‐varying endogenous effects play a key role in explaining the relationship between unionization and job satisfaction.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12193   open full text
  • Injunctions as a Legal Weapon in Collective Industrial Disputes in Britain, 2005–2014.
    Gregor Gall.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 08, 2016
    This article examines the frequency, nature and outcomes of employers seeking injunctions against strikes and industrial action mounted by unions between 2005 and 2014. The number of actual and threatened applications continues to be relatively high compared with the previous period when strike levels were significantly higher, with employers continuing to gain overwhelmingly successful outcomes. Yet, usage is increasingly concentrated in a small number of industrial sectors, suggesting the notion of ‘strike effectiveness’ provides the best means by which to explain their relative frequency and presence. Comparative analysis with Ireland highlights the specificity of the nature of British legal regulation of employers seeking injunctive relief.
    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12187   open full text
  • Liberalization Only at the Margins? Analysing the Growth of Temporary Work in German Core Manufacturing Sectors.
    Chiara Benassi.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 08, 2016
    Drawing on workers’ surveys and workplace interviews, this article investigates the growth of temporary work in German manufacturing sectors since the 1980s. Findings partly confirm a ‘dualization’ scenario as workers without industry‐specific vocational training are more likely to be on a temporary contract than skilled workers, and the gap has widened over time. However, also skilled workers have become increasingly vulnerable to casualization due to job routine and the erosion of industrial relations. Evidence confirms the crucial role of institutions in supporting the linkage between specific skills and employment stability, and suggests that the liberalization of the employment relationship has the potential to advance also in the core of the German economy.
    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12189   open full text
  • Does Strike Action Stimulate Trade Union Membership Growth?
    Andy Hodder, Mark Williams, John Kelly, Nick McCarthy.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 08, 2016
    Most of the literature on strikes has addressed one of four issues: causation, variation between sectors and countries, trends over time and the relationship between strikes and other forms of collective and individual protest. Very little research has addressed the equally important questions of strike outcomes and trade union membership despite the substantial body of research on the causes of trade union membership decline and strategies for membership growth. In this paper we reverse the usual sequence of trade union membership as a causal factor in the genesis of strikes and examine the impact of strikes on trade union membership levels. After setting out the relevant theory and hypotheses, we use a unique seven‐year dataset of trade union membership joiners and leavers from a major British trade union with a substantial record of strike activity. Controlling for other possible determinants of trade union membership, we find that months in which there is strike action, whether national or local, are associated with a significantly higher rate of membership growth, measured both by the number of joiners and by the ratio of joiners to leavers. Data from new union members suggest that perceived injustice and perceived union effectiveness both motivate the decision to join.
    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12188   open full text
  • Work‐Related Training and the Probability of Transitioning from Non‐Permanent to Permanent Employment.
    Duncan McVicar, Mark Wooden, Felix Leung, Ning Li.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 05, 2016
    It is widely believed that work‐related training increases a worker's probability of moving up the job‐quality ladder. This is usually couched in terms of effects on wages, but it has also been argued that training increases the probability of moving from non‐permanent forms of employment to more permanent employment. This hypothesis is tested using nationally representative panel data for Australia, a country where the incidence of non‐permanent employment, and especially casual employment, is high by international standards. While a positive association between participation in work‐related training and the subsequent probability of moving from either casual or fixed‐term contract employment to permanent employment is observed among men, this is shown to be driven not by a causal impact of training on transitions but by differences between those who do and do not receive training, that is selection bias.
    April 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12182   open full text
  • Evaluating the Illegal Employer Practice of Under‐Reporting Employees’ Salaries.
    Colin C. Williams, Ioana A. Horodnic.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 23, 2016
    This article advances understanding of the prevalence and distribution of the illegal employer practice of under‐reporting employees’ salaries, explains this practice and evaluates policy approaches. Analysing a 2013 Eurobarometer survey of 11,025 employees in 28 European countries, one in 33 employees receive under‐reported salaries, mostly in small businesses and vulnerable groups (e.g. unskilled workers, with lower education levels and financial difficulties). Explaining this practice, not as an individual criminal act that increasing the risk of detection can tackle, but as a symptom of systemic problems, which require improvements both in tax morale at the individual level and in the formal institutional environment at the country level to resolve, we then discuss the implications for theory and policy.
    February 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12179   open full text
  • Computer Use, Job Tasks and the Part‐Time Pay Penalty.
    Ahmed Elsayed, Andries Grip, Didier Fouarge.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 23, 2016
    Using data from the UK Skills Surveys 1997–2012, we show that the part‐time pay penalty (PTPP) for women within low‐ and medium‐skilled occupations has decreased significantly. The convergence in computer use and non‐routine job tasks between part‐time and full‐time workers explains a large share of the decrease in the PTPP. This convergence took place mainly within occupations, and was not driven by changes in occupational segregation between the two groups of workers. The lower PTPP is also related to changes in the returns to job tasks. Relative changes in the importance of and returns to computer use and job tasks together explain more than 50 per cent of the decrease in the PTPP.
    February 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12175   open full text
  • A ‘Problem of Fairness’ in the Making: The Transformation of Public Services from the Perspective of Postal Workers.
    Jörg Flecker, Franz Schultheis, Berthold Vogel.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 27, 2016
    During the last two decades public administration and public services have undergone profound changes with far‐reaching impacts on employment relations and working conditions. The paper presents the perceptions and lived experiences of workers affected by liberalization and privatization of public services. In doing so it focuses on workers’ ideas of fairness and dignity at work using the concepts of distribution, recognition and the public ethos of the common good and linking them to fundamental principles of justice. It is argued that the perception of inequalities as fair, while it is shaped by custom, is also being socially constructed during far‐reaching changes. The analysis is based on a series of qualitative interviews conducted in Austria, Germany and Switzerland with postal‐service workers, a sector well suited for the analysis because of the far‐reaching changes in terms of market regulation, ownership of organizations, labour regulation, employment and working conditions.
    January 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12170   open full text
  • Levels of Employee Share Ownership and the Performance of Listed Companies in Europe.
    Ansgar Richter, Susanne Schrader.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 20, 2016
    We investigate the effects of employee share ownership (ESO) on three alternative measures of firm performance in a panel of 1,115 companies from the five largest European economies. The results show that firms with ESO enjoy significantly higher levels of capital market performance and of accounting performance than firms without ESO; however, the marginal effects of ESO are declining with increasing ESO levels. ESO does not have a clear effect on productivity. These findings hold for all countries except Spain. Variations in ESO levels within firms over time exert few performance effects.
    January 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12169   open full text
  • Employment Systems in Japan's Financial Industry: Globalization, Growing Divergence and Institutional Change.
    Mari Yamauchi.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 27, 2015
    This article examines growing divergence and change in the employment systems of Japan's financial industry from the early 1990s until shortly after the so‐called Lehman Shock. This was a period which saw accelerated deregulation and globalization strongly impact the country's financial markets, leading to intensified competition over human resources. Foreign multinational corporations introduced into Japan's local product and labour markets new global ‘rules of the game’; in response, some native firms were forced to alter core aspects of a traditional employment model. The result was the emergence of diverging patterns of employment. The present study will demonstrate that the interaction of two key factors — national ownership and variation among core products and services offered — is shaping employment diversification, mediated by firms’ individual policies and practices. This research contributes to the debate on the effects of globalization on the divergence and change of employment systems.
    November 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12164   open full text
  • Job Anxiety, Work‐Related Psychological Illness and Workplace Performance.
    Melanie K. Jones, Paul L. Latreille, Peter J. Sloane.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 12, 2015
    This article uses matched employee–employer data from the British Workplace Employment Relations Survey to examine the relationship between employee psychological health and workplace performance in 2004 and 2011. Using two measures of work‐related psychological health — namely employee‐reported job anxiety and manager‐reported workforce stress, depression and anxiety — we find a positive relationship between psychological ill‐health and absence, but not quits. The association between psychological ill‐health and labour productivity is less clear, with estimates sensitive to sector, time period and the measure of psychological health. The 2004–2011 panel is further used to explore the extent to which change in psychological health is related to change in performance.
    November 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12159   open full text
  • Work or Schooling? On the Return to Gaining In‐School Work Experiences.
    Sofie J. Cabus, Carla Haelermans.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 12, 2015
    Wages are a composite measure of the return to education and the return to work experiences. Work experiences are often defined as workers who gain experiences on‐the‐job. However, work experiences can also be part of a study curriculum in vocational secondary education. We estimate the return to in‐school work experiences by comparing the Heckman selection model and the Rubin matching model. First, we show that students with in‐school work experiences earn +16% more in the first years of labour than their theoretical peers. Second, we indicate that both empirical models do not appropriately deal with censored observations in the presence of an informal market. Including information on a set of censored observations increases the effect to +22%.
    November 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12166   open full text
  • Determinants of the Wage Share: A Panel Analysis of Advanced and Developing Economies.
    Engelbert Stockhammer.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 12, 2015
    Wage shares have declined substantially in all OECD countries and most developing economies since 1980. This study uses a new ILO/IILS dataset on adjusted wage shares for a panel of up to 43 developing and 28 advanced economies (1970–2007) to explain changes in wage shares and assess the relative contributions of technological change, financialization, globalization and welfare state retrenchment. We find strong negative effects of financialization as well as negative effects of welfare state retrenchment. Globalization has (in production) robust negative effects in advanced as well as in developing economies, which is at odds with the Stolper–Samuelson theorem. We find small, and for developing countries positive effects of technological change. Our results support a Political Economy approach to explaining income distribution.
    November 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12165   open full text
  • Economic Citizenship and Workplace Conflict in Anglo‐American Industrial Relations Systems.
    Denise Currie, Paul Teague.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 29, 2015
    This article argues that the expansion of individual employment rights is presenting a series of challenges to the collective model of economic citizenship that prevailed in most of the Anglo‐American world during the last century. We examine developments in the management of workplace conflict in Anglo‐American countries to highlight the institutional manoeuvrings that have been taking place to mould the nature of national regimes of employment rights. We argue that Governments almost everywhere are actively seeking to create institutional regimes that weaken the impact of employment legislation and we find that statutory dispute resolution agencies are eagerly trying to develop organizational identities that are aligned with rights‐based employment disputes.
    September 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12150   open full text
  • The Foundations of Social Partnership.
    Martin Behrens, Markus Helfen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 29, 2015
    ‘Social partnership’ between capital and labour is a distinctive characteristic of German industrial relations. Based on a survey of 142 German employers’ associations, we investigate differences in their support for partnership with unions. We find that organizational characteristics (e.g. membership density) as well as positive experiences with their union counterparts explain why employers’ associations adhere to the norms of social partnership. Building on an analysis that combines political and organizational institutionalism, we find that the positive evaluation of social partnership held by employers is associated with their positive experiences in more recent interactions with unions in collective bargaining, a more encompassing definition of an association's policy domain and a long‐term history of mutual collaboration.
    September 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12151   open full text
  • Happier with the Same: Job Satisfaction of Disadvantaged Workers.
    Francisco Perales, Wojtek Tomaszewski.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 29, 2015
    Job satisfaction evaluations depend not only on the objective circumstances that workers experience in their jobs, but also on their subjective dispositions, such as their aspirations, expectations, feelings of entitlement or personal evaluation criteria. We use matched employer–employee data from the United Kingdom to examine whether and how subjective dispositions influencing job satisfaction vary across workers with different socio‐demographic traits. We approximate jobs using detailed occupations within workplaces and find that most of the variability in job satisfaction is at the worker rather than the proximate‐job level, and that workers with disadvantaged statuses report higher satisfaction with the same jobs than those with advantaged statuses.
    September 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12152   open full text
  • From ‘Entering into a Firm’ to ‘Entering into a Profession’: An Anthropological Approach to Changing Personhood in Japan.
    Huiyan Fu.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 14, 2015
    Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the article uses discourse analysis to examine the social dynamics involved in the construction of personhood in Japan. While the gap between powerful discourse and lived reality is a well‐documented phenomenon, there is little systematic empirical research on how to integrate individual and social levels of analysis in this process. By contrasting discourse from above and from below, the article illuminates power asymmetry and the resulting tension between discursive freedom and social exclusion among disadvantaged groups.
    September 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12147   open full text
  • Resisting Japan's Neoliberal Model of Capitalism: Intensification and Change in Contemporary Patterns of Class Struggle.
    Saori Shibata.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 07, 2015
    The Japanese model of capitalism has tended to be conceptualized within the extant literature in terms of a transition from a model characterized by coordination towards one in which neoliberal reforms have produced greater levels of instability, competition and inequality. This article argues that these trends raise the question of what patterns of resistance have been part of this transition. The article highlights how the neoliberalization of Japan's model of capitalism has also been accompanied by intensified class antagonism. Although the impact of such contestation on policymaking and actual policies has thus far been limited, Japan's neoliberalization has nevertheless been (and seems likely to remain) far from uncontested.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12149   open full text
  • Owner‐Managers and the Failure of Newly Adopted Works Councils.
    Uwe Jirjahn, Jens Mohrenweiser.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 07, 2015
    Using representative data from the IAB Establishment Panel, we show that the managerial environment has a strong influence on the introduction and survival of works councils. Employees in owner‐managed establishments are less likely to introduce a works council. Moreover, in case of an introduction, the new works council is less likely to survive if the establishment is owner‐managed. The pattern of results even holds in situations that involve positive economic effects of works councils. This suggests that owner‐managers oppose works councils not primarily for economic reasons. Our findings are rather consistent with the hypothesis that owner‐managers oppose co‐determination because it reduces the utility they gain from being the ultimate bosses within the establishment.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12148   open full text
  • The Implications of the Value Chain and Financial Institutions for Work and Employment: Insights from the Video Game Industry in Poland, Sweden and Germany.
    Christina Teipen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 26, 2015
    What are the reasons for national differences of international market access in high‐risk software development and what is the role of employment regulation? This analysis elucidates this question based on national sector studies of the video games industry with particular focus on financial systems, skill formation as well as work and employment systems in Sweden, Germany and Poland. National financial architectures and education are a decisive factor. However, the results also suggest that the ‘varieties‐of‐capitalism’ (VoC) approach underestimates industry divergence within and across supposedly homogeneous national models, especially in the field of labour regulation. The author proposes to link VoC theory to a transnational perspective, which complementarily takes into account firm embeddedness in industry‐specific value chains.
    August 26, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12144   open full text
  • The Role of Mediation Institutions in Sweden and Denmark after Centralized Bargaining.
    Christian Lyhne Ibsen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 26, 2015
    This article compares coordinated collective bargaining in Sweden and Denmark after centralized bargaining. Existing theories — power resource and cross‐class alliance theory — seem capable of explaining the transition from centralized bargaining to pattern bargaining system. However, they do not explain the internal stability of bargaining coordination once established. This analysis stresses the role of mediation institutions of both countries for solving collective action problems in pattern bargaining by pegging other settlements to the manufacturing labour cost norm. Mediation capabilities, however, differ, which is reflected in more frequent defections in Sweden than in Denmark and thus a more unstable bargaining coordination. These differences have substantive consequences for bargaining outcomes in the two countries.
    August 26, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12142   open full text
  • Workplace Characteristics and Working Class Vote for the Old and New Right.
    Christoph Arndt, Line Rennwald.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 26, 2015
    This article focuses on the role of plant size for working class vote. We argue that workplace size does matter for political behaviour. Workers in smaller plants are less unionized and therefore base their voting decisions more strongly on their cultural attitudes, which undermine the support for social democratic parties. Using data from the European Social Survey (2002–2010), we find that workers in small plants have more right‐wing attitudes and, consequently, vote for new and old right parties, contrarily to workers in larger plants. Our research points towards important structural explanations of working class support for the right and its cross‐national differences.
    August 26, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12143   open full text
  • Inclusion or Dualization? The Political Economy of Employment Relations in Italian and Greek Telecommunications.
    Andreas Kornelakis.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 02, 2015
    Recent literature argues that trade unions in restructuring service industries have responded to the challenges of the post‐industrial era by accepting different forms of labour market dualization. This article examines two case studies from Italy and Greece, in which unions adopted divergent responses to intensified market pressures unleashed by the liberalization of national telecommunications markets. In the Italian case, collective bargaining was successfully centralized, resulting in the inclusion of traditional labour market ‘outsiders’. In contrast, bargaining centralization failed in Greek telecommunications, leading to intensified dualization. These different paths of institutional change are explained as resulting from differences in ideological cleavages among unions and distinct legacies in employers’ associations.
    August 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12136   open full text
  • The Setback in Political Entrepreneurship and Employment Dualization in Japan, 1998–2012.
    Ji‐Whan Yun.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 18, 2015
    Scholars are mainly concerned about how policy makers in advanced countries have succeeded in dualizing labour market regulations in a way to realize their vision or to represent powerful industrial interests. However, Japan's recent experiences suggest the possibility that this dualization is not such a straightforward outcome. This study argues that as Japan's political entrepreneurs have undergone setbacks in their reform attempt to overcome the tradition of employment dualism, they have improvised to close the reform process by institutionalizing this tradition. This study corroborates the argument by investigating state‐industry conflicts over the revisions of the Worker Dispatch Law in 1999, 2003 and 2012.
    May 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12132   open full text
  • Union Strategies, National Institutions and the Use of Temporary Labour in Italian and US Plants.
    Valeria Pulignano, Andrea Signoretti.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 18, 2015
    This article analyses variation in the use of temporary labour based on a comparison of two plants of the same US automotive multinational corporation, one in Italy and the other in the United States. We argue that differences in the use of temporary labour are explained by union capacities to make trade‐offs between alternative forms of flexibility as well as trade‐offs in the protection of internal and external groups of workers. Union capacity is dependent on the availability of power resources within different national institutional environments. These resources are shown to influence not only the ways in which temporary workers are used but also bargaining outcomes — including employment conditions — benefiting them.
    May 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12131   open full text
  • The Declining Volume of Workers’ Training in Britain.
    Francis Green, Alan Felstead, Duncan Gallie, Hande Inanc, Nick Jewson.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 08, 2015
    The conventional focus on the training participation rate, rather than training volume, in official statistics and research has obscured a radical transformation in workers’ training in Britain. To obtain a picture of the trend in training volume, we synthesize a narrative through a new analysis of multiple surveys. The duration of training fell sharply with the result that the training volume per worker declined by about a half between 1997 and 2012. This fall is hard to reconcile with optimistic rhetoric surrounding the knowledge economy. Potential explanations are discussed. We conclude with recommendations to improve the collection of training statistics.
    May 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12130   open full text
  • Improving Working Conditions in Garment Supply Chains: The Role of Unions in Cambodia.
    Chikako Oka.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 25, 2015
    Given the disappointing outcomes of private regulation of labour in global supply chains, worker organization is increasingly seen as the key to better working conditions. This article examines the extent to which unions impact different dimensions of labour standard compliance in Cambodia's garment export sector, where unions have grown considerably. Based on unique factory‐level data and field‐based interviews, this study shows that union presence improves factories’ compliance with wage, hours, and leave standards, although the impact is much less significant for health and safety. Moreover, having multiple unions in the workplace does not appear to improve labour conditions.
    February 25, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12118   open full text
  • Pro‐Social or Pro‐Management? A Critique of the Conception of Employee Voice as a Pro‐Social Behaviour within Organizational Behaviour.
    Michael Barry, Adrian Wilkinson.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 13, 2015
    For many years, the employment relations (ER) literature took the perspective that employee voice via trade unions could channel discontent and reduce exit, thereby improving productivity. In organizational behaviour (OB) research voice has also emerged as an important concept, and a focus of this research has been to understand the antecedents of the decision of employees to engage or not engage in voice. In OB research, however, voice is not viewed as it is in ER as a mechanism to provide collective representation of employee interests. Rather, it is seen as an expression of the desire and choice of individual workers to communicate information and ideas to management for the benefit of the organization. This article offers a critique of the OB conception of voice, and in particular highlights the limitations of its view of voice as a pro‐social behaviour. We argue that the OB conception of voice is at best partial because its definition of voice as an activity that benefits the organization leaves no room for considering voice as a means of challenging management, or indeed simply as being a vehicle for employee self‐determination.
    January 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12114   open full text
  • The Impact of Employees' and Managers' Training on the Performance of Small‐ and Medium‐Sized Enterprises: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment in the UK Service Sector.
    Andreas Georgiadis, Christos N. Pitelis.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 04, 2014
    We investigate the relationship between employees' and managers' training and firm performance using a policy intervention that randomly assigned training support to small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises in the UK accommodation and food service sector. Because the number of firms self‐selected into training exceeded available places, training was randomly assigned to some firms, resulting in a randomized natural experimental design that allowed us to identify the average effect of training on treated firms. Our empirical results suggest that employees' training had a stronger positive impact on firms' labour productivity and profitability than that of managers'.
    August 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12094   open full text
  • Straight to the Core — Explaining Union Responses to the Casualization of Work: The IG Metall Campaign for Agency Workers.
    Chiara Benassi, Lisa Dorigatti.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 09, 2014
    The existing literature provides different accounts on the strategies of unions regarding marginal workers. It has been argued that under increasing labour market segmentation, unions have either to prioritize their core constituencies and to seek compromises with management, or to adopt inclusive strategies towards peripheral workers to counterbalance eroding bargaining power. This article shows that both strategies represent equally viable options to protect the interests of unions' core members. The strategic choice depends on the (perceived) competition between core and peripheral employees related to employers' personnel strategies; this affects the possible alignment of interests between unions' core members, on the one hand, and either management or peripheral employees, on the other. Our historical analysis of union strategies towards agency workers in the German metal sector illustrates this mechanism, and identifies institutional change towards liberalization as the trigger for aggressive segmentation strategies by employers and for inclusive union strategies.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12079   open full text
  • Accounting for Greenfield Union Organizing Outcomes.
    Melanie Simms.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 30, 2014
    This paper presents a framework for evaluating and accounting for the outcomes of ‘greenfield’ union organizing campaigns. It argues that previous studies have tended to focus too much on the establishment of collective bargaining and negotiation of first contract as a campaign outcome. Instead, the effectiveness and representativeness of new union structures are emphasized, and the sustainability of those structures is emphasized as the most important outcome. A key finding from the empirical data is that campaigns that build both workplace activism and are co‐ordinated by officers create more sustainable outcomes than campaigns that focus on one or the other. The evidence shows how and why these outcomes emerge, and the paper concludes with a consideration of the theoretical and practical implications.
    April 30, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12072   open full text
  • Paid and Unpaid Labour in Non‐Profit Organizations: Does the Substitution Effect Exist?
    Benjamin Bittschi, Astrid Pennerstorfer, Ulrike Schneider.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 03, 2014
    In non‐profit organizations (NPOs), volunteers often work alongside paid workers. Such a co‐production setting can lead to tension between the two worker groups. This article examines for the first time if and how volunteers influence the separation of paid employees, and thus it contributes to the debate over whether volunteers can substitute paid workers. Using Austrian data at the organizational level, we find a significant impact of volunteers on the separations of paid workers in NPOs facing increased competition. These findings support the assumption that a partial substitution effect exists between paid workers and volunteers.
    April 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12071   open full text
  • Employer Association Responses to the Effects of Bargaining Decentralization in Australia and Italy: Seeking Explanations from Organizational Theory.
    Peter Sheldon, Raoul Nacamulli, Francesco Paoletti, David E. Morgan.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 24, 2014
    The literature has neglected to analyse employer associations as organizations facing potential environmental threats to their financial sustainability. We examine associations' responses to collective bargaining decentralization, a major, contemporary threat. Using a qualitative, comparative case approach, we examine eight associations — four each in Australia and Italy — to develop a model of response types. Stronger decentralization effects increase associations' exposure to new and heightened competition, which in turn produces stronger association responses. These include prioritizing commercial over associational objectives. We analyse responses using strategic choice and resource dependence theories, finding that associations use both. However, the decision how to combine them reflects environmental conditions as well as choices linking organizational purpose and financial sustainability.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12061   open full text
  • How Does China's New Labour Contract Law Affect Floating Workers?
    Xiaoying Li, Richard B. Freeman.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 15, 2014
    China's new Labour Contract Law took effect in January 2008 and required firms to give migrant workers written contracts, strengthened labour protections for workers and contained penalties for firms that did not follow the labour code. This article uses survey data of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta before and after the law, and a retrospective question on when workers received their first labour contract to assess the effects of the law on labour outcomes. The evidence shows that the new law increased the percentage of migrant workers with written contracts, which in turn raised social insurance coverage, reduced the likelihood of wage arrears and raised the likelihood that workers had a union at their workplace.
    February 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12056   open full text
  • Social Media in Union Communications: An International Study with UNI Global Union Affiliates.
    Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, Julie Barnett.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 15, 2014
    This article assesses the use of social media in union communications based on an international survey with 149 unions affiliated with UNI Global Union. High expectations of union modernization, leadership and pressures from members are likely to drive the agenda of social media within unions. However, the actual use of different channels is based on organizational variables such as membership base and participation in communities of practice. Beliefs about the anticipated benefits and risks of social media were not found to be influential in these early assessments. Implications for union communication strategies are discussed.
    February 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12060   open full text
  • Age and Work‐Related Health: Insights from the UK Labour Force Survey.
    Rhys Davies, Melanie Jones, Huw Lloyd‐Williams.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. February 14, 2014
    Data from the UK Labour Force Survey (LFS) are used to examine two methodological issues in the analysis of the relationship between age and work‐related health. First, the LFS is unusual in that it asks work‐related health questions to those who are not currently employed. This facilitates a more representative analysis than that which is constrained to focus only on those currently in work. Second, information in the LFS facilitates a comparison of work‐related health problems that stem from current employment to a more encompassing measure that includes those related to a former job. We find that accounting for each of these sources of bias increases the age work‐related health risk gradient, and suggest that ignoring such effects will underestimate the work‐related health implications of current policies to extend working lives.
    February 14, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12059   open full text
  • The Impact of Recession on Adult Training: Evidence from the United Kingdom in 2008–2009.
    Geoff Mason, Kate Bishop.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 29, 2014
    Analysis of longitudinal data from Employers Skills Updating Surveys in the United Kingdom suggests that in many establishments training plans were blown off course by the 2008–2009 recession, with reduced coverage of adult training and especially of off‐the‐job training. The effects of such cutbacks on skill levels have been partially alleviated by more precise targeting of on‐the‐job training on meeting skills improvement needs. However, in a sizeable proportion of establishments, future productivity and competitiveness are likely to be impaired by failure to upgrade adult workers' skills to standards which employers themselves perceived as necessary prior to the recession.
    January 29, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12057   open full text
  • Reconsidering Union Activism and Its Meaning.
    Jack Fiorito, Irene Padavic, Philip S. DeOrtentiis.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 17, 2014
    Membership mobilization is widely regarded as critical for union revitalization. Estimates of the level of activism vary widely, and studies reveal puzzling inconsistencies between union members' beliefs and intentions. Drawing from Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour, we address both issues using a sample of faculty union members. Results show both consistency and discrepancy between summary self‐reports of activism and specific participation behaviours, helping account for the widely varying estimates of activism levels found in other studies. Results also indicate an important role for perceived control, a factor rarely examined in prior research on activism.
    January 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12054   open full text
  • The Unexpected Appearance of a New German Model.
    Werner Eichhorst.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 13, 2014
    Most Continental European labour markets and welfare states have experienced a substantial transformation. Germany is a case in point as it exhibits increasing levels of employment and a growing share of low pay and non‐standard work. The article claims that changes in labour market institutions play a major role, but changes in industrial relations at the sectoral level and individual firms' staffing practices are equally important. Regarding labour market institutions, the pattern found in Germany shows sequences of reforms addressing the margins of the labour market and contributing to a growing dualization of employment. This dualization trend was reinforced by micro‐level dynamics in industrial relations and company employment practices, where we can observe growing reliance on mechanisms of internal flexibility for the skilled core workforce and increasing use of non‐standard types of employment in less specifically skilled occupations, in particular in the private service sector. Hence, the adjustment of the German model can only be understood by taking into account the interaction of policy change and actors' adaptive behaviour.
    January 13, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12055   open full text
  • Progress Towards Gender Democracy in UK Unions 1987–2012.
    Gill Kirton.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 10, 2014
    This article provides a detailed chronological account of the extent of overall change in women's representation in UK unions' structures of democracy and in unions' adoption of gender equality (GE) strategies over a 25‐year period (1987–2012). The findings reveal huge progress towards gender proportionality and towards getting women's concerns on the union agenda. The evidence strongly suggests that at least in part this progress can be attributed to the wide range of GE strategies increasingly adopted over the period. However, the article exposes persistent gaps and warns against regarding the union gender democracy project as finished business.
    January 10, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12052   open full text
  • The Effects of Non‐Expensed Employee Stock Bonus on Firm Performance: Evidence from Taiwanese High‐Tech Firms.
    Nien‐Chi Liu, Ming‐Yuan Chen, Mei‐Ling Wang.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 09, 2014
    The choice of whether to expense broad‐based stock incentives has been a highly controversial debate in both academic research and practice circles. We provide insightful findings to reconcile certain debates regarding the effectiveness of non‐expensed, broad‐based stock incentives. Using a unique longitudinal dataset from Taiwanese high‐tech firms over the 1997–2008 period, our results indicate that non‐expensed employee stock bonus incentives exerted positive effects on short‐term organizational value added creation. The dilution effects of broad‐based stock incentives in Taiwan, however, exerted a negative influence on profitability and eroded share return. The negative effects were even more severe in the following year, and overexploitation of employee stock bonus also damaged the long‐term organizational performance of Taiwanese high‐tech firms. This negative aspect of non‐expensed employee stock incentives resulted in more evidence for changing the regulatory context of broad‐based stock incentives in Taiwan.
    January 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12051   open full text
  • Transnational Organizing: A Case Study of Contract Workers in the Colombian Mining Industry.
    Elizabeth Cotton, Tony Royle.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 07, 2014
    This article examines recent organizing successes in the Carbones del Cerrejón coal mine, reversing the organizational crisis of the Colombian mining union, Sintracarbon. Using Wever's concept of ‘field‐enlarging strategies’, we argue that these events were facilitated by the dissemination of organizing experiences between affiliates of a Global Union Federation, International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), which recently merged to form IndustriALL. Additionally, we argue that this articulation between international and national unions, based on the principle of subsidiarity, was facilitated through sustained ICEM educational project activity, providing multiple entry points for Sintracarbon to operationalize its strategy and re‐establish bargaining with multinational employers.
    January 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12029   open full text
  • Globalized Labour Markets? International Rent Sharing Across 47 Countries.
    Pedro S. Martins, Yong Yang.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 07, 2014
    We present evidence about the role of rent sharing in fostering the interdependence of labour markets around the world. Our results draw on a firm‐level panel of more than 2,000 multinationals and over 5,000 of their affiliates, covering 47 home and host countries. We find considerable evidence that multinationals share profits internationally by paying higher wages to their workers in foreign affiliates in periods of higher headquarter profits. This occurs even across continents, and not only within Europe, as shown in earlier research. The results are robust to different tests, including a falsification exercise based on ‘matched’ parents. Finally, we show that rent sharing is higher when the affiliate is located in countries with specific relative characteristics, such as lower economic development or taxation, while it falls with the number of affiliates. We argue that these results are consistent with transfer pricing and bargaining views.
    January 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12050   open full text
  • Rule Enactment in a Pan‐European Labour Market: Transnational Posted Work in the German Construction Sector.
    Ines Wagner.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. January 07, 2014
    This article analyses the micro‐level rule enactment of the posting of workers framework in the German construction sector. I examine how actors draw on different power resources in order to influence policies without formal negotiation within transnational workspaces and thereby initiate institutional change. Drawing on interviews with posted workers, managers, unionists, works councillors and labour inspectors I show how transnational subcontracting allows the emergence of different regulatory spaces at national and workplace level. The article concludes that the informal renegotiation of employment relations in transnational workspaces is likely to destabilize the posting framework negotiated at policy level.
    January 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12053   open full text
  • Climbing the Ladder: Gender‐Specific Career Advancement in Financial Services and the Influence of Flexible Work‐Time Arrangements.
    Inge Noback, Lourens Broersma, Jouke Dijk.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 20, 2013
    The aim of this study is to gain insight into the gender‐specific career advancement of about 10,000 middle‐ and top‐level managers in a Dutch financial services company. Our results indicate that women earn less, work at lower job levels, but show slightly higher career mobility than men. However, working a compressed four‐day nine‐hours‐a‐day workweek turns out to be favourable for women who are ‘rewarded’ for working full time, whereas men are ‘penalized’ for not working five days a week. Introducing this form of flexibility into a predominantly masculine organizational culture offers new opportunities for career advancement, albeit solely for women.
    November 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12048   open full text
  • Are Unions Good or Bad for Organizations? The Moderating Role of Management's Response.
    Dionne Pohler, Andrew Luchak.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 15, 2013
    Union impact research has been hindered by an underdeveloped conceptualization of management response, contributing to inconclusive empirical findings. Integrating the collective voice/institutional response model with the appropriateness framework, we propose that an employee‐focused business strategy is a critical moderating variable in the relationship between union density and organizational outcomes that mitigates the negative effects of unions and enhances the positive effects by sending a clear signal of management's intentions to co‐operate. Using a panel dataset of Canadian organizations over six years, we provide empirical evidence to support our arguments. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
    October 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12042   open full text
  • Disability and Perceptions of Work and Management.
    Melanie K. Jones.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 11, 2013
    Matched employee–employer data from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey are used to examine differences in work‐related perceptions between disabled and non‐disabled employees. Even after accounting for differences in personal, job and workplace characteristics, disabled employees are found to hold more negative views on the treatment of workers by managers and, consistent with this, they express less job satisfaction and commitment towards their organization. The influence of disability is also examined across workplaces defined by sector, the presence of disability‐related policies and practices, and employee views of management to explore the role of corporate culture.
    October 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12043   open full text
  • Financial Participation: Does the Risk Transfer Story Hold in France?
    Leila Baghdadi, Rihab Bellakhal, Marc‐Arthur Diaye.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 10, 2013
    Several articles report a positive effect of financial participation (profit sharing (PS) and employee share ownership) on firms' economic performance. This increase can be obtained in two main ways: by increasing the effort (extrinsic, intrinsic or commitment) of workers, directly or indirectly through worker selection; or by transferring more risk to the workers. The question is, of course, not neutral. Indeed, if the risk transfer story is true then it means that the increase of economic performance is obtained at the expense of workers, who take on the burden of more risks. The question is especially important in France where financial participation is associated with tax exemption for firms and where it is forbidden by law to substitute base wage and PS. The purpose of our article is to use an employer–employee dataset to answer the question of whether financial participation schemes are mainly designed as a risk transfer (from firms to workers) device.
    October 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12044   open full text
  • Sharing Risks of Labour Market Transitions: Towards a System of Employment Insurance.
    Günther Schmid.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 10, 2013
    The increasing polarization of the labour market is closely related to the spread of non‐standard employment relationships that largely results from poor risk management of critical transitions over the life course. The question, therefore, arises whether labour market regulation, in particular unemployment insurance, is still properly designed for the new world of work. This article argues for an extension of unemployment insurance towards a system of employment insurance by summarizing the concept of transitional labour markets, indicating the risks that challenge current and future labour markets, laying the theoretical groundwork, and discussing the main features of an employment insurance system.
    September 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12041   open full text
  • Trade Union Approaches towards the ICE Regulations: Defensive Realism or Missed Opportunity?
    Mark Hall, John Purcell, Michael Terry, Sue Hutchinson, Jane Parker.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 08, 2013
    Reflecting debates about whether statutory workforce‐wide consultation arrangements are likely to undermine or underpin trade union representation, unions' approaches towards the UK's Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 have been ambivalent and their engagement with the legislation limited. Evidence from longitudinal case studies in 25 organizations suggests that the introduction of information and consultation bodies did not have the effect of marginalizing trade union representation and collective bargaining, and in some cases reinforced unions' standing within the organization. The article highlights the implications for union strategies and legislative reform, and suggests a research agenda.
    August 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12033   open full text
  • Union Campaigns as Countermovements: Mobilizing Immigrant Workers in France and the United Kingdom.
    Maite Tapia, Lowell Turner.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 08, 2013
    In this article, we compare recent innovative union campaigns: the ‘sans papiers’ campaign in France and the ‘Justice for Cleaners’ campaign in the United Kingdom, both based on a sustained grass‐roots mobilization of immigrant workers. Rather than focusing on the ‘usual suspect’ explanatory factors, such as contrasting national settings, union power structures or traditions, our cross‐national comparison highlights important underlying similarities in unions' strategic responses to a growing precarious immigrant workforce. In the absence of established channels of representation, both unions decided to act like social movements fighting for social protection. Using Polanyi's framework, we view both case studies as examples of countermovements against heightened levels of global liberalization and precarious employment.
    August 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12035   open full text
  • Accounting for National and Sectoral Variance in the Implementation of European Social Partner ‘Soft’ Law: The Cases of the Implementation of the Telework and Work‐Related Stress Agreements.
    Thomas Prosser.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 08, 2013
    This article investigates the factors that explicate the implementation of European social partner ‘soft’ framework agreements. The implementation of two such agreements, the Telework and Work‐Related Stress Agreements, in four countries and two sectors is investigated. Seven hypotheses, primarily derived from the study of generic European ‘soft’ law, about the factors that explain the implementation of European social partner ‘soft’ law are tested. The article concludes that European social partner ‘soft’ law is distinctive from generic European ‘soft’ law in that its successful implementation is contingent upon the extent the industrial relations system in which it is implemented is centralized and co‐ordinated.
    August 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12036   open full text
  • Transnational Alliances for Negotiating International Framework Agreements: Power Relations and Bargaining Processes between Global Union Federations and European Works Councils.
    Veronika Dehnen.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 08, 2013
    Why should European Works Councils (EWCs) discuss the International Labour Organisation's core labour standards? With respect to their legal duties, EWCs are information and consultation bodies on European topics. In practice, they can become main actors in negotiating and implementing international framework agreements (IFAs) about core labour standards in multinational companies. Using theoretical models of internal and inter‐organizational bargaining, the author highlights the role of those European bodies that work together with Global Union Federations (GUFs) during negotiations. In order to analyse the different forms of actors' involvement in negotiations, empirical data from a content analysis of all IFAs, as well as three company case studies, will be presented. It will be argued that internal bargaining between EWCs and GUFs influences negotiations with management. Furthermore, the article discusses the role of norms and institutions that shape internal as well as inter‐organizational bargaining processes, and lead to different forms of involvement of employee representation bodies.
    August 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12038   open full text
  • European Integration and Pension Policy Change: Variable Patterns of Europeanization in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.
    Karen M. Anderson, Michael Kaeding.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 29, 2013
    This article investigates how European welfare states respond to reform pressures arising from European integration. We focus on the field of public pensions and examine the impact of two institutional variables that mediate the impact of reform pressures: the extent of public pension provision and the number of national political veto points. We argue that, all else equal, member‐states with few veto points and a relatively small public pension sector are the most likely cases of policy change in response to Europeanization, whereas member‐states with a high number of veto points and extensive public pension commitments are the least likely candidates for policy change. We test these arguments in four cases of Europeanization in three countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy).
    July 29, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12030   open full text
  • Does the UK Minimum Wage Reduce Employment? A Meta‐Regression Analysis.
    Megan Linde Leonard, T. D. Stanley, Hristos Doucouliagos.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 17, 2013
    The employment effect from raising the minimum wage has long been studied but remains in dispute. Our meta‐analysis of 236 estimated minimum wage elasticities and 710 partial correlation coefficients from 16 UK studies finds no overall practically significant adverse employment effect. Unlike US studies, there seems to be little, if any, overall reporting bias. Multivariate meta‐regression analysis identifies several research dimensions that are associated with differential employment effects. In particular, the residential home care industry may exhibit a genuinely adverse employment effect.
    July 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12031   open full text
  • Variable Pay, Industrial Relations and Foreign Ownership: Evidence from Germany.
    John S. Heywood, Uwe Jirjahn.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 03, 2013
    We use a representative sample of German establishments to show that those with foreign ownership are more likely to use performance appraisal, profit‐sharing and employee share ownership than those with domestic ownership. Moreover, we show that works councils are associated with an increased probability of using each of the three practices when under domestic ownership but not when under foreign ownership. These results inform the ongoing debate over institutional duality, the extent to which foreign firms adopt uniform practices independent of local institutions, and the extent to which they adapt and participate in those local institutions.
    July 03, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12032   open full text
  • Facilitators and Inhibitors of Collective Action: A Case Study of a US‐Owned Manufacturing Plant.
    Michelle O'Sullivan, Thomas Turner.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. June 17, 2013
    This article develops a theoretical model of collective action at work using the key concepts of mobilization triggers, facilitating factors, and inhibiting factors. It then illustrates the value of this model for understanding why a low‐pay, low‐skill, blue‐collar manufacturing facility remained non‐union, drawing primarily on the accounts of a limited sample of redundant workers. These accounts are used to demonstrate the importance of social contexts where inhibiting conditions dominate and where management practices succeed in gaining worker consent and forestalling a collective response from workers.
    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2013.00882.x   open full text
  • European Works Councils and the Crisis: Change and Resistance in Cross‐Border Employee Representation at Honda and Toyota.
    Markus Hertwig.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. May 16, 2013
    The article analyses the effects of the financial and economic crisis on the structures and activities of the European Works Councils (EWCs) at Honda and Toyota, which until 2007–8 were categorized as non‐efficient representation bodies. A theoretical concept is introduced to measure activation and to analyse the factors explaining change/stability. In the empirical part, the EWCs are analysed using data from expert interviews. Both EWCs have undergone different activation ‘paths’, which partly lead to a restructuring of the bodies and the implementation of new co‐ordination processes. Yet the basic logic was retained because of cultural and power related aspects.
    May 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12027   open full text
  • Fixed‐Term Contracts: Short‐Term Blessings or Long‐Term Scars? Empirical Findings from the Netherlands 1980–2000.
    Irma Mooi‐Reci, Ronald Dekker.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 25, 2013
    Using a comprehensive longitudinal dataset of prime‐age Dutch workers over the period 1980–2000, we examine how a previously held job with a fixed‐term contract influences both the likelihood and the duration of a future spell of unemployment. Analyses show that Dutch workers with fixed‐term contracts experience higher risks of future unemployment and have no shorter spells of unemployment compared to workers with regular contracts. Results also reveal that swifter employment re‐entries among men with fixed‐term contracts can be explained by their job search efforts before unemployment. Our study (partly) invalidates theoretical positions that claim that fixed‐term contracts foster employment security by shortening unemployment durations; suggesting that fixed‐term contracts are a short‐term blessing that could end, for some workers, in a recurrent unemployment trap.
    April 25, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12024   open full text
  • Workplace Flexibilities, Job Satisfaction and Union Membership in the US Workforce.
    Chad D. Cotti, M. Ryan Haley, Laurie A. Miller.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 25, 2013
    Using individual‐level data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce, we quantify how workers' job satisfaction levels correlate with five schedule‐based workplace flexibilities. The data permit us to control for numerous variables that might otherwise explain variation in the probability of job satisfaction, including, but not limited to, income, benefits, stress, depression, job control and individual preferences over flexibilities. Conditional on this control set, we find that workplace flexibilities correlate with an 8.1 per cent increase in job satisfaction. The relationship between job satisfaction and workplace flexibilities prevails through several sensitivity analyses, bias assessments and a propensity score matching analysis. We also explore how job satisfaction, union membership and workplace flexibilities intermix; we find that workplace flexibilities may function as a partial substitute for union membership.
    April 25, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12025   open full text
  • The Part‐Time Job Satisfaction Puzzle: Different Types of Job Discrepancies and the Moderating Effect of Family Importance.
    Anja Iseke.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 08, 2013
    Although part‐time employment often appears as a substandard form of employment, evidence that part‐time employees are less satisfied than full‐time employees is ambiguous. To shed more light on this puzzle, I test an extended discrepancy theory framework using data from the German Socio‐Economic Panel. The results help explain previous inconsistent findings: Part‐time employment increases the chances of being underemployed while it reduces the likelihood of working more hours than preferred, and the negative effects of both types of working time mismatches on job satisfaction are similar in size. Furthermore, the importance attributed to family roles mitigates the negative effect of part‐time employment on job satisfaction.
    April 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12019   open full text
  • Hospital Numerical Flexibility and Nurse Economic Security in China and India.
    Chris Nyland, Charmine Hartel, Thin Vu.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 08, 2013
    This article contrasts the flexibility of Chinese and Indian urban hospitals and the security of nurses. The study draws on a survey of 55 urban hospitals, and finds that national context generates different flexibility–security outcomes even when workers with similar skills are considered. Our findings support claims that China is constructing a flexibility–security regime that aims to promote both security and flexibility, and that India remains attached to employer‐based social protection, but challenges the claim that economic growth is higher in China because India's employers have relatively less capacity to utilize labour‐time as they wish.
    April 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12020   open full text
  • Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining: What Types of Pay Bargaining Can Foster Positive Pay Equity Outcomes?
    Damian Grimshaw, Gerhard Bosch, Jill Rubery.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 08, 2013
    Using data from interviews and collective agreements in five European countries, this article analyses the relationship between collective bargaining and the minimum wage. In a context of changing minimum wage policy and competing government objectives, the findings illuminate how pay bargaining strategies of trade unions and employers shape the pay equity effects of minimum wage policy. Two general forms are identified: direct responses to a changing national minimum wage, and responses to the absence or weakness of a national minimum wage. The article explains how particular intersections of minimum wage policy and collective bargaining, together with country and sector contingencies, shape the form of pay bargaining and pay equity outcomes.
    April 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12021   open full text
  • Flexible Work and Immigration in Europe.
    Damian Raess, Brian Burgoon.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 08, 2013
    Immigration has risen substantially in many European economies, with far‐reaching if still uncertain implications for labour markets and industrial relations. This article investigates such implications, focusing on employment flexibility, involving both ‘external flexibility’ (fixed‐term or temporary agency and/or involuntary part‐time work) and ‘internal flexibility’ (overtime and/or balancing‐time accounts). The article identifies reasons why immigration should generally increase the incidence of such flexibility, and why external flexibility should rise more than internal flexibility. The article supports these claims using a dataset of establishments in 16 European countries.
    April 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12022   open full text
  • The Greek Public Sector Wage Premium before the Crisis: Size, Selection and Relative Valuation of Characteristics.
    Rebekka Christopoulou, Vassilis Monastiriotis.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 08, 2013
    We examine the Greek public–private wage differential before the debt crisis to evaluate the prospective impact of the recent public sector pay cuts. We find a large public premium which persists after controlling for individual and job characteristics. For men, much of this is accounted for by self‐selection into the sector that rewards better their characteristics, while for women it is largely driven by sectoral differences in returns. We attribute these effects to more egalitarian pay structures in the public sector and to demand problems in the private sector. The recent policy measures only partially change this situation, as wage deflation extends to the private sector, preserving public premia for the low paid.
    April 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12023   open full text
  • Under Pressure: The Impact of Recession on Employees in Ireland.
    Helen Russell, Frances McGinnity.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 27, 2013
    Ireland is experiencing the worst recession since the foundation of the state, and the effects on the labour market have been dramatic. This article explores the impact of recession for those still in employment by examining work pressure, using two large, nationally representative workplace surveys from 2003 (boom) and 2009 (recession). We find a significant increase in work pressure between 2003 and 2009. Staff reductions and company reorganization are both associated with increased work pressure, as is current job insecurity. Other job changes, like large pay cuts, increases in responsibility and monitoring are also associated with increased work pressure. We argue that negative organizational and job changes in the previous two years play an important role in accounting for the rise in work pressure.
    March 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12018   open full text
  • Building Transnational Union Networks across Global Production Networks: Conceptualising a New Arena of Labour–Management Relations.
    Markus Helfen, Michael Fichter.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 05, 2013
    Academic interest in Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) has grown considerably over the past several years, but the focus has largely been limited to comparing their various clauses and provisions. More recent research has centred on case studies of their implementation. In this article, we move beyond an exclusive analysis of GFAs to a broader conceptualization of steps towards globalizing labour relations, in which GFAs are fundamental. In our heuristic model, a GFA is the negotiated result of interest representation. A GFA creates an arena for the pursuit of global labour relations by defining the content, selecting the actors, delineating the processes and setting the boundaries of labour–management interaction. As a political space undergoing institutionalization, all of these dimensions of arenas are still contested. Although the structural boundaries are fuzzy at the periphery, such arenas reach beyond the organizational entities of the signatory transnational corporation (TNC) to encompass the global production network (GPN). Furthermore, we show how Global Union Federations (GUFs) and their member unions operating in regard to particular GPNs have begun building Transnational Union Networks (TUNs). Using two very different case studies, we argue that structural contingencies and strategic choices intertwine to bring about divergent TUN trajectories: one favouring a limited company‐specific internal approach, the other a broader, GUF‐led union‐building approach. As exemplified by these findings, TUNs in our construction of an arena linking key elements of transnational labour relations are still ‘work in progress’. Our concluding hypotheses reflect this contingency and the need for further research.
    March 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12016   open full text
  • Global Labour‐Standards Advocacy by European Civil Society Organizations: Trends and Developments.
    Luc Fransen, Brian Burgoon.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 05, 2013
    In recent years, developments in intergovernmental organizations and transnational private governance organizations have created new opportunities and constraints for the promotion of global labour‐standards governance by civil society organizations (CSOs). This article describes how European CSOs (including trade union organizations and non‐governmental organizations (NGOs)) respond to these developments. It argues that European civil society is witnessing a threefold shift in priorities of labour‐standards advocacy: from pushing regulatory approaches to organizational capacity building; from corporate responsibility strategies focused on compliance to strategies focused on transparency; and from fair labour standards within the sustainable development agenda to a host of other issues. The overall result is that labour‐standards advocacy in general and private labour governance in particular are receiving less attention from European CSOs.
    March 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12017   open full text
  • Building Power Together: Union Support for Central Labour Bodies.
    Monica Bielski Boris, Jeff Grabelsky.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    One of the key factors in the success of labour federations is to have affiliate unions who actively participate and support their work. This article examines the catalysts behind union involvement with central labour bodies and presents an analysis of the organizational motivations for engagement. The article uses comparative case study analysis to examine affiliate union commitment in the United States to the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations' state federations, area labour federations and central labour councils. Union leadership, along with contextual, interpretative and organizational factors, was found to influence the level of affiliate union involvement in central labour bodies.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12008   open full text
  • Implications of Financial Capitalism for Employment Relations Research: Evidence from Breach of Trust and Implicit Contracts in Private Equity Buyouts.
    Eileen Appelbaum, Rose Batt, Ian Clark.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    An increasing share of the economy is organized around financial capitalism, where capital market actors actively manage their claims on wealth creation and distribution to maximize shareholder value. Drawing on four case studies of private equity buyouts, we challenge agency theory interpretations that they are ‘welfare neutral’ and show that an alternative source of shareholder value is breach of trust and implicit contracts. We show why management and employment relations scholars need to investigate the mechanisms of financial capitalism to provide a more accurate analysis of the emergence of new forms of class relations and to help us move beyond the limits of the varieties of capitalism approach to comparative institutional analysis.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12009   open full text
  • E‐Communications: An Aspect of Union Renewal or Merely Doing Things Electronically?
    Allan Kerr, Jeremy Waddington.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    Drawing on questionnaire‐based survey data and web‐based data, this article examines the introduction of virtual branch websites within 12 branches of UNISON. The article situates e‐communications within a union communications strategy from the perspective of union members and shows how the virtual branch websites contribute to aspects of union renewal including organization and participation, union democracy and the conduct of industrial disputes.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12010   open full text
  • Subcontracting and Labour Standards: Reassessing the Potential of International Framework Agreements.
    Glynne Williams, Steve Davies, Crispen Chinguno.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    Attempts to regulate labour standards in multinational companies face clear difficulties, not least because companies themselves may not have the executive power to enforce terms throughout complex and fragmented subcontracting structures. In the case of international framework agreements (IFAs), this might suggest a fundamental weakness. Taking our example from the South African construction industry, this article presents an IFA in the context of both employer and union strategy. We demonstrate that a two‐track approach exists: highly interventionist approach to quality‐critical issues compared with labour‐related issues. On this basis, we suggest that, far from being over‐hyped, IFAs have yet to be taken seriously enough.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12011   open full text
  • Employment Change after Takeovers: The Role of Executive Ownership.
    Azimjon Kuvandikov, Andrew Pendleton, David Higgins.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    The article examines the impact of executive ownership and other ownership and governance factors on employment change after takeovers. Drawing on a dataset of 235 takeovers, the results show that there is a reduction in employment in just over 50 per cent of the sample. Higher levels of executive share ownership are associated with lower probabilities of employee layoffs post‐takeover, and there is a positive relationship between executive ownership and employment growth. The effect of executive options on employment change is generally insignificant, as are the effects of other features of ownership and governance. The evidence suggests that executives with higher levels of ownership tend to mount takeovers of better‐performing firms and to implement takeovers aimed at growth.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12012   open full text
  • Disconnected Amid the Networks and Chains: Employee Detachment from Company and Union after Offshoring.
    Leo McCann.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    Much has been written about the relocation of services jobs away from OECD nations by offshoring. But what happens to those who remain employed at workplaces where offshoring has been carried out? Based on survey and interview data of UK insurance and banking staff, this article explores employees' subjective understandings of the impacts of offshoring. The article brings together literature on Global Commodity Chains and Labour Process Theory, as it expands the focus of research on offshoring from macro/meso discussions of globalization and firm strategy into more micro‐level analysis of employee interpretations of workplace change. The data indicate a collapse in morale and work dignity for UK financial services workers and suggest that offshoring is not associated with a rise in skill levels of surviving jobs. Many staff reported a climate of detachment and cynicism after offshoring. Detachment and disaffection applies to employees' feelings towards their employer and their union, and is discussed as a paradoxical by‐product of the growing incorporation of services work into Global Commodity Chains or Global Production Networks.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12014   open full text
  • From the Firm to the Network: Global Value Chains and Employment Relations Theory.
    Tashlin Lakhani, Sarosh Kuruvilla, Ariel Avgar.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    We posit that traditional employment relations theories that focus on individual firms embedded in distinct national institutional contexts are no longer adequate for the analysis of employment relations in a globalized era where production and services are increasingly coordinated across countries and firms. Building on global value chain theory, we introduce a configurational framework that explicitly addresses the employment relations implications of the interconnections within and between firms in the global economy. We argue that different value chain configurations will evidence different employment relations patterns, and we validate our framework by applying it to the study of three contemporary global issues. In sum, the framework permits a shift in the focus of employment relations scholarship away from the individual firm to the global networks in which they belong, and hence provides a new theoretical lens for the analysis of employment relations in the global economy.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12015   open full text
  • Representation in UK Employment Tribunals: Analysis of the 2003 and 2008 Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA).
    Peter Urwin, Franz Buscha, Paul L. Latreille.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. March 01, 2013
    The perception is that formal representation is increasingly common in UK Employment Tribunals (ETs), as case volumes and complexity increase. We investigate the nature of representation in UK ETs using the 2003 and 2008 Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA). The results suggest that between 2003 and 2008, the extent of formal claimant representation declined. The majority of employers and claimants are either heavily represented or have little/no representation, and there is little evidence that claimant representation is a response to employer representation at least at the level of individual claims. Overall, however, it would seem that some of the ‘accessible, informal and inexpensive’ characteristics envisaged by Donovan continue to apply only to cases within certain jurisdictions.
    March 01, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00914.x   open full text
  • Renewing Union Narrative Resources: How Union Capabilities Make a Difference.
    Christian Lévesque, Gregor Murray.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 22, 2012
    This article explores the role of framing in mobilizing and transforming narrative resources. It draws on in‐depth studies of two different workplace unions within the same multinational company in Canada. We conducted interviews with managers and trade unionists at different levels over a number of years of observation. Each of these workplace unions mobilizes new repertoires of action to enhance its capacity to act. Yet they differ considerably in their capacity to renew their narrative resources. Whereas one of the workplace unions still relies on an exclusive and restrictive narrative, the other union has evolved towards a more encompassing and inclusive narrative. This article argues that strategic capabilities are a key variable in understanding the processes through which narrative resources change and are mobilized.
    November 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12002   open full text
  • Transnational Industrial Relations as Multi‐Level Governance: Interdependencies in European Social Dialogue.
    Maarten Keune, Paul Marginson.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 22, 2012
    Processes of transnationalization of industrial relations have been redrawing and increasing the complexity of the industrial relations map, adding new levels, actors and institutions, and creating new horizontal and vertical relationships and interdependencies. To capture these changes, we propose a multi‐governance perspective enriched by due attention to power relations. We then apply this perspective to analyse the evolution of European social dialogue (ESD), showing that the conventional reading of ESD moving from dependency to autonomy is a false one: negotiated regulation emanating from the ESD rests on two‐directional relations, between the European and national levels involving autonomy and dependency at the same time. It also involves differing forms of horizontal interdependency between private actors and the public authorities. To show its wider applicability, we also briefly relate this approach to International Framework Agreements and European Works Council agreements.
    November 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12005   open full text
  • Do Recessions Transform Work and Employment? Evidence from Ireland.
    William K. Roche, Paul Teague.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 22, 2012
    Two contrasting views tend to dominate the literature on the impact of recessions on employment. One view is that recessions amount to a ‘critical conjuncture’ for work and employment systems, a time when firms try to transform radically existing employment models. The alternative perspective is that firms, constrained mostly by the forces of path dependency, seek to adjust to the immediate or short‐term pressures of the recession but otherwise maintain the established way of organizing the employment relationship. The purpose of this article is to contribute to this literature by reporting the findings of a major study of the effects of the recession on work and employment in firms based in Ireland. The main finding to emerge from the study is that firms mostly have made improvised adaptations in response to the crisis and have shied away from far‐reaching transformational strategies.
    November 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12006   open full text
  • Complements or Substitutes? Private Codes, State Regulation and the Enforcement of Labour Standards in Global Supply Chains.
    Richard M. Locke, Ben A. Rissing, Timea Pal.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. November 22, 2012
    Recent research on regulation and governance suggests that a mixture of public and private interventions is necessary to improve working conditions and environmental standards within global supply chains. Yet less attention has been directed to how these different forms of regulation interact in practice. The form of these interactions is investigated through a contextualized comparison of suppliers producing for Hewlett‐Packard, one of the world's leading global electronics firms. Using a unique dataset describing Hewlett‐Packard's supplier audits over time, coupled with qualitative fieldwork at a matched pair of suppliers in Mexico and the Czech Republic, this study shows how private and public regulation can interact in different ways — sometimes as complements; other times as substitutes — depending upon both the national contexts and the specific issues being addressed. Results from our analysis show that private interventions do not exist within a vacuum, but rather these efforts to enforce labour and environmental standards are affected by state and non‐governmental actors.
    November 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12003   open full text
  • The Limits on Pay as a Strategic Tool: Obstacles to Alignment in Non‐Union Environments.
    Jonathan Trevor, William Brown.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 12, 2012
    Strategic human resource management literature emphasizes the potential of pay to secure strategically desirable employee outcomes for the employer. Strategic pay, in contrast with pluralist models of pay determination, assumes an absence of collective bargaining constraints. This article analyses the process of determination of non‐unionized managerial, professional and technical pay in seven leading consumer goods firms that claim to use pay as a strategic tool. It demonstrates that implemented pay practice is often remote from what is aspired to strategically. Despite the absence of collective bargaining constraints, there remain unavoidable obstacles to the ability of management to implement pay systems aligned to strategic goals. These constraints impose fundamental limitations on the use of pay as a strategic tool.
    October 12, 2012   doi: 10.1111/bjir.12004   open full text
  • Active Labour Market Policy by a Profit‐Maximizing Firm.
    Ruud Gerards, Joan Muysken, Riccardo Welters.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 08, 2012
    This article investigates the effectiveness of an employment programme exclusively run by a private sector firm in order to find out whether such a programme can be beneficial to both the participating individuals and the private firm. To answer these questions, we use a unique dataset on a private employment programme covering 23 years of operations and data on 1,000 participating unemployed individuals. Using conservative estimates, we show that a private employment programme is more effective in reintegrating the unemployed than public efforts, while providing tangible benefits to the firm.
    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00915.x   open full text
  • Employment Protection, Threat and Incentive Effects on Worker Absence.
    Steve Bradley, Colin Green, Gareth Leeves.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 08, 2012
    This article provides new evidence on the effect of changes in employment protection on worker absence. We use novel multi‐organization data to examine changes in worker absence as workers move from temporary to permanent employment contracts. We demonstrate a robust positive effect of employment protection on sickness absence. It has also been suggested that the impact of employment protection on absence and effort is due to a fear of dismissal. We also provide evidence that suggests that temporary workers' absence is influenced by incentives to attain jobs with protection that is unrelated to threat of dismissal. This has not been considered in earlier research. This channel of employment protection effects has important policy implications.
    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00916.x   open full text
  • Organizing ‘Spaces of Hope’: Union Formation by Indian Garment Workers.
    Jean Jenkins.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 08, 2012
    This article concerns union formation among female garment workers in Bangalore, in the southern state of Karnataka, India. It analyses a case where a category of workers dismissed by established national unions as impossible to organize came to form their own women's movement and thence their own union. The case highlights the crucial role of a sustained, flexible approach towards organizing at the micro level, in the mobilization of vulnerable workers employed in highly competitive labour markets.
    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00917.x   open full text
  • Institutions and Strategies: Trends and Obstacles to Recruiting Workers into Trade Unions in Poland.
    Jan Czarzasty, Katarzyna Gajewska, Adam Mrozowicki.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 08, 2012
    In this article, we examine the role of institutional context, organizational structures and trade union strategies in tempering membership decline in the number of trade unions in Poland. Empirical data include membership statistics collected for NSZZ Solidarność and 54 affiliates of two other largest trade union confederations (OPZZ and FZZ) supplemented by semi‐structured interviews with union leaders. In a decentralized collective bargaining system in Poland, a centralized trade union confederation (NSZZ Solidarność) can more easily shift resources to efficiently organize workers than decentralized confederations, OPZZ and FZZ, whose development is mostly driven by competing trade unions representing narrower occupational groups. In conclusion, this observation is put in a broader context of the debates about trade union renewal in Eastern Europe.
    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00919.x   open full text
  • Collaboration, Co‐operation or Collusion? Contrasting Employee Responses to Managerial Control in Three Call Centres.
    Daniel Nyberg, Graham Sewell.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. October 08, 2012
    This article draws on ethnographic studies of three call centres in a single, medium‐sized insurance company to explore how employees responded differently to similar techniques of managerial control. Considering recent discussions of compromise in the workplace, we identify a response to control that sits between implacable resistance and supine acquiescence. We style this collusion and distinguish it from other states of compromise, such as collaboration and co‐operation. Drawing on the work of Edwards et al., we argue that a dynamic and politically sophisticated collusive compromise can exist between parties whose control and developmental concerns are in conflict. From this position, we extend existing theories of compromise: (a) to accommodate different permutations of control and developmental concerns; and (b) to predict when collaboration, co‐operation and collusion are likely to occur under ostensibly similar conditions of managerial control.
    October 08, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00920.x   open full text
  • The Paradox of Liberalization — Understanding Dualism and the Recovery of the German Political Economy.
    Anke Hassel.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. September 20, 2012
    What do the recent trends in German economic development convey about the trajectory of change? Has liberalization prepared the German economy to deal with new challenges? What effects will liberalization have on the co‐ordinating capacities of economic institutions? This article argues that co‐ordination and liberalization are two sides of the same coin in the process of corporate restructuring in the face of economic shocks. Firms seek labour co‐operation in the face of tighter competitive pressures and exploit institutional advantages of co‐ordination. However, tighter co‐operation with core workers sharpened insider–outsider divisions and were built upon service sector cost cutting through liberalization. The combination of plant‐level restructuring and social policy change forms a trajectory of institutional adjustment of forming complementary economic segments which work under different rules. The process is driven by producer coalitions of export‐oriented firms and core workers’ representatives, rather than by firms per se.
    September 20, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00913.x   open full text
  • Social Movement Theory, Collective Action Frames and Union Theory: A Critique and Extension.
    Peter Gahan, Andreas Pekarek.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 21, 2012
    The publication of John Kelly's Rethinking Industrial Relations in 1998 spawned a growing interest among researchers in exploring how social movement (SM) theory can be used to inform union research, particularly in the context of revitalization/renewal debates. Our starting proposition is that this approach can be extended through an engagement with the larger corpus of SM theory. We focus in particular on the ‘collective action frame’ concept. Drawing on examples used by SM scholars, we illustrate how these concepts can be used to extend and enrich union theory and pose new questions concerning the role of unions.
    August 21, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00912.x   open full text
  • Informal Employment Dispute Resolution among Low‐Wage Non‐Union Workers: Does Managerially Initiated Workplace Voice Enhance Equity and Efficiency?
    Andy Charlwood, Anna Pollert.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 07, 2012
    The decline of collective industrial relations has shifted the focus of industrial relations research to the study of individual employment disputes. In this article, we investigate whether employer‐initiated workplace voice is associated with improved resolution of individual complaints or grievances workers make against employers. We find that our measure of workplace voice is associated with less serious problems, more informal methods of dispute resolution, more satisfactory outcomes for workers and lower quit rates. However, these findings need to be set against generally low rates of satisfactory dispute resolution for all employees in our sample.
    August 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00903.x   open full text
  • The Early Mobilization of Women Union Leaders — A Comparative Perspective.
    Geraldine Healy, Gill Kirton.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 06, 2012
    This article explores the initial reasons for union joining of women who became union leaders in the UK and the USA by drawing on concepts from mobilization theory and the literature on women and unions. The comparative study demonstrates similarities and differences in early mobilization influences on UK and US women with respect to family, ideology, instrumentality and injustice. Informed by the women and unions literature, the article critiques mobilization theorists for failing to problematize the term ‘injustice’ and underplaying the importance of ideology which are shown to be gendered and racialized and located in time and place.
    August 06, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00902.x   open full text
  • Environment Pressures, Managerial Industrial Relations Ideologies and Unionization in Chinese Enterprises.
    Mingwei Liu, Chunyun Li.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 06, 2012
    Based on extensive field research in China during 2005–2010, this article aims to explore the determinants of unionization in the Chinese context. We find that managerial strategies toward union organizing and functioning have been critical in determining unionization outcomes in Chinese enterprises. While various environment pressures may impose critical constraints on these strategies, managerial industrial relations ideologies are central in shaping these strategies when environment pressures barely exist or are bearable by management. Our study makes the first effort in exploring industrial relations ideologies in China and contributes to better understanding of unionization in the Chinese workplace.
    August 06, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00908.x   open full text
  • Union Membership and Job‐Related Training: Incidence, Transferability, and Efficacy.
    C. Jeffrey Waddoups.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 06, 2012
    This study examines the relationship between union membership and (i) the incidence of training, (ii) the degree to which training is transferable to firms other than the one providing the training and (iii) the degree to which workers perceive that training improves job performance. Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, I find that union members are more likely to receive employer‐sponsored training than their non‐union counterparts. I also find that male union members are more likely than non‐members to report that training improved job performance. Union membership was not related to transferability of skills between employers.
    August 06, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00909.x   open full text
  • Introducing OMOV: The Labour Party–Trade Union Review Group and the 1994 Leadership Contest.
    Mark Wickham‐Jones.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. August 06, 2012
    Most scholars conclude that the introduction of one member, one vote (OMOV) into the electoral college that chooses the Labour leader demonstrates a new, reduced role for the party's affiliated trade unions. This article examines the adoption of OMOV by Labour. It looks at discussions in the Labour party–trade union review group that moulded the decision to adopt OMOV during 1992–1993. Drawing on the full breakdown of results, it goes on to examine the outcome of the 1994 leadership contest. The distribution of votes, union by union, indicates that, contrary to the conventional view, trade union leaderships retained the capacity to shape the pattern of voting through their ability to nominate candidates. The article concludes that the introduction of OMOV did not reduce the role of trade union leaderships in Labour's internal affairs in the manner that many scholars have concluded to be the case.
    August 06, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00910.x   open full text
  • Do Different Work Characteristics Have Different Distributional Impacts on Job Satisfaction? A Study of Slope Heterogeneity in Workers’ Well‐Being.
    Aekapol Chongvilaivan, Nattavudh Powdthavee.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 22, 2012
    This article is an empirical study of slope heterogeneity in job satisfaction. It provides evidence from the generalized ordered probit models that different job characteristics tend to have different distributional impacts on the overall job satisfaction. For instance, standard models tend to significantly underestimate the effects of monthly salary and hours worked at generating the ‘highly’ satisfied workers, while lowering the incidence of the ‘very dissatisfied’ workers. Although our results should be viewed as illustrative, we provide discussions of their potential implications for employers and on how they could help with the design of employment contracts.
    July 22, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00904.x   open full text
  • Mobilizing Protest: Insights from Two Factory Closures.
    Paul Blyton, Jean Jenkins.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 19, 2012
    This article draws on investigations of worker response to two factory closures to develop recent discussions around mobilization theory. With many shared characteristics between the factories, both located in the garment manufacturing sector, and with similar workforces and union organization, certain key distinguishing features between the two provide insights into why worker protest became effectively mobilized and sustained in one case but failed to materialize in the other. The findings point to the value of assigning greater weight in studies of worker mobilization to the impact of prior existing social structures within a population, and the interaction between that population, its leaders and wider society.
    July 19, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00906.x   open full text
  • History of the British Industrial Relations Field Reconsidered: Getting from the Webbs to the New Employment Relations Paradigm.
    Bruce E. Kaufman.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. July 19, 2012
    Sidney and Beatrice Webb are commonly cited as the founders of the British field of industrial relations. Are they, however, if the field is centred not on study of unions and collective bargaining but rather on the entire employment relationship? A ‘qualified yes’ answer is given; however, getting there involves major revision to the conventional historiography of the field. To illustrate, the article presents a traditional and revised family tree of British industrial relations. Numerous insights and implications follow.
    July 19, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00907.x   open full text
  • Marching to Different Tunes: Commitment and Culture as Mobilizing Mechanisms of Trade Unions and Community Organizations.
    Maite Tapia.
    British Journal of Industrial Relations. April 04, 2012
    This study examines mobilizing mechanisms using a British community organization and a British trade union as exemplars. Although there has been substantial work on union revitalization on the one hand, and the emergence of alternative, community organizations on the other, no study has compared the challenges these organizations face in encouraging member mobilization. The findings illustrate how the trade union engages in a service‐driven culture, cultivating instrumental commitment between the members and the union. The community organization, in contrast, engages in a relational culture and exemplifies a form of social commitment between the members and the group. As a result, different types of commitment and organizational cultures help explain why sustained member mobilization within a trade union is harder to achieve than within a community organization.
    April 04, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00893.x   open full text