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The article focuses on the role that ‘confidential information’ plays in relation to the work of board-level worker representatives, and their interaction with other worker…
The article focuses on the role that ‘confidential information’ plays in relation to the work of board-level worker representatives, and their interaction with other worker participation mechanisms. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to explore the implications of confidentiality of board-level information for effective worker participation. The main argument is that if board-level worker representatives are excessively constrained by confidentiality provisions, their capacity to work effectively is brought into question.
A qualitative research was undertaken on a sample of 12 public limited companies in Slovenia. In each company, three interviews were conducted: with the CEO or board member, with a board-level worker representative and with a works councilor, who was not a board-level worker representative (36 interviews in total). Each of these interviewees has a particular role, and interest, in handling confidential information. Thus, a method of triangulation by groups was employed. The interviews were conducted at the company premises during October and November 2017. The results were analysed by the content analysis method.
This research confirms that in the majority of companies, nearly all of the material and information discussed by the board is deemed to be ‘confidential’. Consequently, communication between board-level worker representatives and the works council is rendered difficult, if not impossible. The results indicate an urgent need to redefine the concept of confidentiality and to reinforce the level of communication between management boards and works councils.
The research is limited to one country, which, by no means, is fatal, as international comparisons, although of greater breadth, often lose some depth of analysis (especially, for example, where there are differences in legal contexts). Although the issues discussed in the paper are of relevance to all those with an interest in worker participation mechanisms, they cannot be generalised mostly due to national specificities.
The question of confidentiality as between the board, board-level worker representatives, works councils, trade unions and other form of worker representation, despite its importance, has been raised quite rarely in research. In this research, three groups of stakeholders (CEO/board member, board-level workers representative and works council members) have been covered, with the aim to extend the understanding of how confidentiality obligations impact relationships between these.
In the mid‐1970s, there was an upsurge of interest in the notion of worker participation at board level. Several influences contributed to this development, including initiatives from the EEC, experience of worker directors at BSC, political commitment from the then Labour Government, culminating in the establishment of a Committee of Inquiry. It was at this time an unknown researcher with research experience of participation in joint consultative committees — amongst other things — began negotiations with the Department of Employment for monies to pursue her research interests. The outcome was the “worker director project” based at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the project was to examine the role of worker directors in private sector companies. Few companies fitting that description could be found, but of the seven which co‐operated in the research, all were different in many respects. The worker director schemes which they had fostered too were different. This monograph presents brief case descriptions of four of these firms. An attempt is made to highlight the salient features of each which were perceived to be influential in shaping the scheme. Thus various contextual factors are discussed, so too are role and role‐related issues; the extent of training and preparation of the worker director; the amount of information disclosed to and by her/him. Finally, a list of criteria are suggested as guides for assessing and evaluating such schemes, not so much by their own lights, but as a reasonably detached, independent observer.
A distinction must be drawn between a dismissal on the one hand, and on the other a repudiation of a contract of employment as a result of a breach of a fundamental term of that contract. When such a repudiation has been accepted by the innocent party then a termination of employment takes place. Such termination does not constitute dismissal (see London v. James Laidlaw & Sons Ltd (1974) IRLR 136 and Gannon v. J. C. Firth (1976) IRLR 415 EAT).
This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of…
This book is a policy proposal aimed at the democratic left. It is concerned with gradual but radical reform of the socio‐economic system. An integrated policy of industrial and economic democracy, which centres around the establishment of a new sector of employee‐controlled enterprises, is presented. The proposal would retain the mix‐ed economy, but transform it into a much better “mixture”, with increased employee‐power in all sectors. While there is much of enduring value in our liberal western way of life, gross inequalities of wealth and power persist in our society.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of worker representation and consultation on occupational health and safety in the UK in a context in which…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of worker representation and consultation on occupational health and safety in the UK in a context in which, following the 1977 Safety Representatives and Safety Committees (SRSC) Regulations 1977, recognised trade unions have the right to appoint health and safety representatives who have rights to representation and consultation and to access the training and facilities needed to support these activities.
The chemical industry is the chosen site for this enquiry, because, it offers some of the most propitious conditions in which to examine the operation of what has been the preferred model in UK health and safety regulation, namely those in which there are recognised trade unions and where there are likely to be systems and structures of industrial relations in place combined with arrangements for OHS management. Five establishments are examined.
The research suggests joint arrangements make for better safety outcomes and that there is a relation between management consultation on general issues and those of health and safety. Overall, though, management capacity and commitment pose considerable constraints to employee representation on health and safety. The SRSC regulations apply in all five cases but worker representation operated below the level to be expected from the regulations.
A stronger legislative steer on worker consultation and representation in respect of workplace health and safety is required.
Demonstrates that, even in an apparently propitious environment, legal requirements are not being implemented, and that management commitment and support are vital.
Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a…
Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a number of large‐scale surveys. A major interest in interpreting the data from these surveys has been to evaluate the impact of recession, and, latterly, recovery on the power, structure and roles of personnel departments and personnel specialists in recent years. The survey data are used comparatively to evaluate the empirical plausibility of the different scenarios which have arisen, and to account for the results that emerge.
This paper focuses on the employment practices of both multinational corporations (MNCs) and large national competitors in the German fast‐food industry, such as Burger…
This paper focuses on the employment practices of both multinational corporations (MNCs) and large national competitors in the German fast‐food industry, such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, Nordsee, McDonald’s, Churrasco and Blockhaus. The paper poses a number of questions. Have the activities of MNCs affected the employment practices of national companies? Are companies adopting union exclusion policies and if so why and to what extent? Does the “country of origin effect” help explain the activities of MNCs? What changes are evident in workers’ terms and conditions and how effective are statutory systems of employee representation in practice? The findings suggest that Anglo‐Saxon‐based MNCs are more likely to adopt anti‐works council and non‐union policies in the sector, suggesting that MNCs may indeed be able to transfer their management practices across borders, imposing their employer‐based systems with little regard for German institutional arrangements.
The expression “industrial democracy” was first used in the United Kingdom by Sydney and Beatrice Webb in 1891 in a book they wrote on collective bargaining and trade…
The expression “industrial democracy” was first used in the United Kingdom by Sydney and Beatrice Webb in 1891 in a book they wrote on collective bargaining and trade unions. They were then thinking of “industrial democracy” as a bargain between employers and trade unions, in other words, collective bargaining, per se and not worker participation in its modern sense.
In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This…
In the last four years, since Volume I of this Bibliography first appeared, there has been an explosion of literature in all the main functional areas of business. This wealth of material poses problems for the researcher in management studies — and, of course, for the librarian: uncovering what has been written in any one area is not an easy task. This volume aims to help the librarian and the researcher overcome some of the immediate problems of identification of material. It is an annotated bibliography of management, drawing on the wide variety of literature produced by MCB University Press. Over the last four years, MCB University Press has produced an extensive range of books and serial publications covering most of the established and many of the developing areas of management. This volume, in conjunction with Volume I, provides a guide to all the material published so far.
With the publication in January 1977 of the Bullock Report on Industrial Democracy has come a recognition that the rights of employees are almost equal to the rights of shareholders and management. Industrial democracy is seen to represent an extension of modern political democracy to industrial companies. In society, political enfranchisement no longer takes account of the ownership of capital or land; nor requires an education or qualifying period. Democracy has come to mean ‘one adult, one vote’. While the Bullock Report is not recommending that degree of industrial democracy in companies, it is theoretically allowing employees an important influence on decision‐making at the policy level, with a subsequent loss of influence to the shareholders and relevant property owners. The majority of the Bullock Committee believe that the native capacities of the working population can be drawn out by putting the relationship between capital and labour on a new basis which will involve not just management but the whole work force in sharing responsibility for the success and profitability of the enterprise. This they believe can only be done if the representatives of the employees are given a real, not a sham or token share, in making strategic decisions which in the past have been reserved to management and the representatives of the shareholders. The debate about industrial democracy is much less about the desirability of moving in the direction of greater participation than about the pace of change and the need to extend such participation to the Board.