In recent years it has become clear that joint consultation has not withered away in British industry but has managed to maintain a considerable institutional presence. The precise character of consultation in these companies is rather more difficult to determine. Drawing on research in a Japanese‐owned electronics factory, with elaborate machinery for participation as well as a single union, no‐strike deal, it is concluded that consultation is little more than a symbol of unitarism. Moreover, other unitarist symbols are also used to convey the “family” message to the workforce.
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