From a comparative viewpoint, German personnel management can be seen as a configuration shaped by a specific form of “corporatism”, worker participation, and the educational system (particularly the apprenticeship tradition). Although challenges from new technology and internationalization have prompted new concepts and negotiation patterns, the approach to personnel management in Germany has not changed drastically. This is reflected in a reluctance to accept, or translate, the label of “human resource management”. The historically unique constellation of a rapid integration of a previously separate and potentially hostile state (the GDR) into the Federal Republic has brought about new strategies and procedures of co‐operation between employers, unions, and state agencies. They also follow, however, the lines of German traditions and institutions.
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