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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2007

Miguel Martínez Lucio

This paper aims to study the impact of new types of market‐based management systems in Western European public sector industrial relations.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the impact of new types of market‐based management systems in Western European public sector industrial relations.

Design/methodology/approach

It reviews the main literature on the topic and relevant policy texts.

Findings

It points to the different dimensions of public sector change in terms of industrial relations and outlines some of the contradictory outcomes and ongoing continuities.

Research limitations/implications

It is a general overview of key developments.

Practical implications

It is relevant for a discussion of the general trends and dynamic of public sector industrial relations.

Originality/value

It manages to take an overview of changes in the public sector and point to the uncertain development of a new market approach.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2010

Miguel Martínez Lucio

Much is being claimed in terms of new forms of trade union networking and co‐ordination at the international level during the past two decades. However, there is a need to…

Abstract

Purpose

Much is being claimed in terms of new forms of trade union networking and co‐ordination at the international level during the past two decades. However, there is a need to ground these views in terms of the reality and contexts of trade union activity. This article seeks to argue that tension within the different modes of international labour activity is nothing new. In fact, political and organisational differences in terms of the practices and strategies of the labour movement have been salient features of trade unionism for over a century. The article will map the interest in networking as a form of labour co‐ordination and the question of the emergence of competing international models of network‐based trade union action.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a general and literature review of the debates on labour internationalism supported by insights gained from a variety of research initiatives.

Findings

As noted by a variety of authors, the reality is that there are assorted types of global and international movements within trade unionism, which are based on four dimensions in terms of specific sectoral, ideological, organisational and national factors. There is a need is to understand the tensions between these models, and not just work from a “vertical” view of power based on hierarchies and levels.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is mainly a critical review of debates and discussions.

Practical implications

Network‐based initiatives should not just be contrasted with bureaucracy per se, but be understood in terms of distinct initiatives, meanings and politics. In fact, one could see the signs of emerging “managerialist” modes of labour internationalism.

Social implications

New forms of trade union and worker representation in a global context are engaging with social and political issues – they are engaging with a range of social and organisational activities such as those of non‐government organisations. These represent an important debate on the way work‐related issues are organised around.

Originality/value

The paper indicates how the question of labour networking is a significant academic discussion and needs to be seen from different perspectives.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Miguel Martínez Lucio and Steve Walker

The article aims to look at the development of the internet in terms of its implications for the labour movement and its international activities.

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to look at the development of the internet in terms of its implications for the labour movement and its international activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper brings together conclusions and findings based on the previous work of the two individual authors who have studied the role of the internet from a national and international perspective, using a range of methodologies.

Findings

The impact of the internet in terms of facilitating communication and renewal strategies has been highly significant. However, the authors argue that such developments are also mediated by trade union structures and organisational traditions/ideologies at the national level where there is still a considerable degree of variety. It also looks and focuses on some of the challenges of international labour co‐ordination through the use of the internet, noting some of the difficulties faced by trade unionists. The paper therefore brings together insights into the way organisations such as trade unions interact with such developments both at the national and international level.

Originality/value

The article emphasises the need to develop a political and sociological understanding of the internet within industrial relations and in terms of future research.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Miguel Martinez Lucio

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on some of the problems and issues emerging from the changing role of the state in the UK’s industrial relations since 1964 – the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on some of the problems and issues emerging from the changing role of the state in the UK’s industrial relations since 1964 – the year the Labour Party was elected to power under Harold Wilson’s leadership. The paper argues that the UK has seen an uneven set of developments in terms of the role of the state in the industrial relations system. Increasingly progressive interventions on a range of subjects such as equality, health and safety and others have coincided with a greater commercialisation of the state and greater fragmentation.

Design/methodology/approach

This is based on a reflective review of various texts and a personal interest in the role of the political in the arena of employee relations. It references a range of texts on the subject of the state in the context of the UK’s employee relations system.

Findings

In political terms there has been an uneven and incoherent set of positions which have meant that there is a growing set of tensions and breakdown in the political consensus over worker rights. In addition, the agencies of the state and other state bodies entrusted with the development of a more socially driven view of industrial relations have been increasingly and steadily undermined and weakened by governments especially those on the right. The political context of industrial relations has become fractured and unable to sustain a coherent longer term view.

Originality/value

The paper tries to bring out the role of the political context and the way in has shaped the changing terrain of industrial relations and argues that the question of fragmentation is not solely visible in employee relations but in the broader political context.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Miguel Martínez Lucio

The relative absence of worker occupations in recent years in a context of major restructuring and unemployment has raised issues in Spain as to the changing nature of…

Abstract

Purpose

The relative absence of worker occupations in recent years in a context of major restructuring and unemployment has raised issues in Spain as to the changing nature of specific forms of direct action. This paper seeks to argue that it is important, in the case of Spain, to discuss how worker occupations have been changing and developing over time if the changing pattern, character and impact of worker unrest and direct action is to be understood.

Design/methodology/approach

The research materials for this paper are based on a series of meetings and interviews with union officers and activists that draw on various projects on union development in Spain during the years 1983‐1988, 2000‐2002 and 2009‐2010, and the study of a range of secondary texts.

Findings

The paper suggests that, as well as discussing questions of motives, whether economic or political, accounting for the socio‐economic context and the changing nature of the workforce in terms of its degree of concentration, the changing nature of labour market stability, and the relationship of workers to “stable” workplaces and work is required. Additionally, there is a need to account for how workers reference and recall (or not) previous modes of mobilising and actions.

Practical implications

Discussing worker occupations should involve issues of political purpose, economic context, the changing nature of work and workers, and the role of memory and historical framing if an appreciation of their varying nature and presence within the landscape of labour relations is to be made. Hence, a multi‐dimensional understanding of the context of worker action is required.

Social implications

The implications of the paper are that conflict of work needs to be understood in broader terms, and that worker related activities can be highly innovative.

Originality/value

The paper examines union and worker responses to the current recession in Spain and focuses on the role and context of unofficial approaches, especially worker occupations, to the changing workplace.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Miguel Martinez Lucio and Mark Stuart

This paper has a dual role. First, it provides an overview of partnership, with particular reference to the present Labour Government and the shaping of its relations with…

Abstract

This paper has a dual role. First, it provides an overview of partnership, with particular reference to the present Labour Government and the shaping of its relations with the institutions of capital and business representation. Second, it provides an introduction to the special issue on “‘Assessing partnership: the prospects for, and challenges of, modernisation” and briefly outlines the papers included in it.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Syd Weston and Miguel Martinez Lucio

There has long been an interest in consultative processes and in raising the level of social dialogue within European companies ever since the Vredeling proposals of the…

Abstract

There has long been an interest in consultative processes and in raising the level of social dialogue within European companies ever since the Vredeling proposals of the early 1970s. While such interest has been delayed and made secondary to market‐oriented integration policies (Ramsay, 1990; Grahl and Teague, 1990), it has reemerged in the very systematic development of the European Works Council directive. Given that the employers had been strongly resisting any such legislation since the original Vredeling proposals, coupled with the reduction in trade union political influence and power throughout Europe generally, it is not surprising that the European Works Council directive has been warmly greeted by the unions generally.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Paul Stewart and Miguel Martinez Lucio

The aim of this paper is to review the social and political role of labour within the evolution of new production regimes and, in particular, teamworking. It draws on…

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to review the social and political role of labour within the evolution of new production regimes and, in particular, teamworking. It draws on various research projects regarding the development of new management practices in a key European car manufacturer. The authors are concerned with the simplistic and, indeed, problematic analysis presented by the lean production paradigm who have been unable to explain the contextual factors and historical processes that underpin the development in firms. In addition, however, whilst agreeing in broad terms with the argument that what we are seeing in Europe is the emergence of a series of hybrid forms we nevertheless express some concern with the tendency to downplay the active role of labour and industrial relations regulation within these developments. More importantly we feel that the referencing to ‘social settlements’ and to ‘industrial relations systems’, whilst on the whole should be welcomed given the limits of the managerialist literature, tends to be done in such a manner that it draws attention away from the active and dynamic role of labour difference and conflict in conditioning management developments. Hence this discussion paper will present some preliminary insights based on a range of research projects that have been executed in recent years.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2008

Robert Perrett and Miguel Martínez Lucio

This paper aims to illustrate how innovative trade union strategies are emerging around the learning agenda and how these are being used to extend union strategies within…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to illustrate how innovative trade union strategies are emerging around the learning agenda and how these are being used to extend union strategies within the workplace and the community. However, it also shows how such strategies can be confronted with difficulties particularly when they are located in fixed spaces leaving them unable to develop or become sustainable once these spaces are challenged or closed due to inconsistent state and employer support.

Design/methodology/approach

An in depth case study approach was adopted for the research, using predominantly semi‐structured interviews with a wide range of individuals over an 18 month period.

Findings

The paper suggests that although unions are increasingly pushing forward their learning agenda and developing workplace and community learning centres, which undoubtedly generate benefits for all stakeholders, their learning strategies are often fixed into specific, closed locations and spaces, finding it difficult to develop once these spaces are challenged or closed due to restructuring and organisational change.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not suggest that this case is representative of all learning initiatives but it does seem that learning as a part of the inclusion and union renewal agenda is not clearly co‐ordinated in terms of their social, spatial and employment position.

Originality/value

This paper represents new empirical research presented at a time when learning initiatives as well as community initiatives are high on government's agenda particularly as they are encouraging “the third sector” to play an increasing role in providing public services. Similarly, the paper addresses issues of ethnicity, migration and learning, again a topic high on government agendas.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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