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The Attempted Restructuring of Worker Representation under Different European industrial Relations Systems: A Post Modern Convergence?

Miguel Martinez Lucio (Cardiff Business School)
Syd Weston (Cardiff Business School)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Publication date: 1 May 1992

Abstract

The adoption of human resource management (HRM) and assertive attempts at organisational change in key multi‐national corporations (MNC's) present the European labour movement with a serious challenge in terms of its traditions. Such a challenge has various dimensions. First, it attempts to construct the company as the locus of worker loyalty through a range of techniques disturbing traditional understandings of solidarity. Secondly, representation at the level of the company is developed and articulated around the broader concerns of the company. Thirdly, the adoption of techniques such as teamworking, team briefings and other direct communications with employees indirectly undermines the joint union‐management regulations of work in its attempt to redefine working practices, and opens up an alternative vision of collective worker organisation. The combination of these three dimensions, when used in a concerted manner, serve to undermine the independent nature of labour representation via the trade union. Co‐existence, as envisaged by Guest (1989), between traditional industrial relations systems and the HRM project is difficult to accommodate given that its long term objective is to gain worker allegiance.

Citation

Martinez Lucio, M. and Weston, S. (1992), "The Attempted Restructuring of Worker Representation under Different European industrial Relations Systems: A Post Modern Convergence?", Management Research News, Vol. 15 No. 5/6, pp. 19-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb028215

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited