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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

John Gennard

The purpose of this editorial is to examine the development of transnational collective bargaining at the company level in Europe

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to examine the development of transnational collective bargaining at the company level in Europe

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial outlines the levels at which bargaining takes place in the European Union, the EU Commission proposals for a procedure for transnational collective bargaining, the procedures agreed by the EMF and UNI‐Europa Graphical for the negotiation of company‐wide transnational agreements, and the content of some existing transnational company‐wide agreements.

Findings

The existence of company‐wide transnational agreements demonstrates that European industry federations can provide added value to multinational companies by providing effective procedures within which transnational company agreements can be concluded. They also demonstrate that the negotiation of such agreements requires substantial resources and cannot be done without the assistance of the EWC. The existing transnational collective agreements in the metal trades show that European trade union organisations have to be determined to follow procedure, provide a trade union answer to EWC bargaining and that national based unions are unlikely to be able to negotiate with European level corporate management. Above all, existing transnational company collective agreements show that the EMF procedure for the negotiation of such agreements is effective, credible and workable.

Originality/value

The editorial offers insights into the process and procedures involved in negotiating company‐wide transnational agreements.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2006

John D. Daniels and Gary S. Insch

This paper relates the different motives for transferring employees internationally to the conduct of each major international strategy (multidomestic, global, and…

Abstract

This paper relates the different motives for transferring employees internationally to the conduct of each major international strategy (multidomestic, global, and transnational), proposes seven hypotheses on these relationships, presents and discusses the results of a survey of heads of human resources or international operations in United States based companies, and concludes with theoretical and practitioner implications of the study and suggestions for future research. We found significant support for three hypotheses and directional support for two others.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2010

Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, Ulrik Jørgensen, Kåre Hendriksen, Stig Hirsbak, Henrik Holmlund Thomsen and Nils Thorsen

The purpose of this paper is to analyse environmental responsibility of companies from industrialized countries when they source materials and products in countries with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse environmental responsibility of companies from industrialized countries when they source materials and products in countries with less environmental protection.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a study of corporate environmental management in the Danish textile and clothing sector, with 13 cases based on interviews and material from reports and websites. The criteria for choosing the cases were variety of size and market segment, and a mixture of companies that take environmental initiatives and companies for which it was not known whether they take environmental initiatives.

Findings

Several different environmental practices were identified: some companies were early which got sustained initiatives, and some early and not sustained initiatives; some companies were late with sustained initiatives, and some late and not sustained initiatives; and finally, some have a practice without environmental initiatives. Dominating types of initiatives are cleaner technology, environmental management systems and cleaner products. Driving forces are governmental regulation, customer demands, market expectations and protection of corporate brands. Some companies focus on capacity building at the suppliers in developing countries, while other companies seem to focus the complex activities at domestic suppliers. Two new facilitating actors in environmental management in product chains were identified.

Research limitations/implications

The focus on one sector in one country limits the number of variables in the analysis. It enables comparisons among the analysed companies, but limits the possibilities for comparison across sectors and countries.

Originality/value

The paper has value as a study of the development of environmental management in a number of companies within the same sector over a number of years, whereby changes in management focus and the embedding of initiatives can be analysed.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2010

Holm‐Detlev Köhler and Sergio González Begega

This article aims to develop an original conceptual approach for the research and analysis of European works councils (EWCs) through a critical examination of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to develop an original conceptual approach for the research and analysis of European works councils (EWCs) through a critical examination of the theoretical debate on the Europeanization of industrial relations and the main results of the huge body of quantitative and qualitative empirical studies of these transnational bodies for effective worker participation.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from the authors' own experiences in qualitative case‐study research, they summarise the main developments of EWCs as the most advanced institutional piece in the emerging dimension of European industrial relations and discuss the strength and weakness of the different approaches employed in EWC research.

Findings

From a perspective of “political economy of European integration” the development of EWCs shows the changing power constellations at the micro‐ and meso‐level of transnational firm complexes. More than 800 EWCs councils with thousands of workers' representatives generate hope for an emergent system of industrial relations, but globalization, economic crisis, intensification of regime competition or the consequences on employment of relocation, restructuring and downsizing are threatening advances in this fundamental piece of the European social project.

Originality/value

The paper offers not only a comprehensive state of the art of theoretical debate and empirical research on EWCs, but develops an original and innovative analytical approach for future research. In a meso‐political perspective, linking together micro‐politics with the interaction of the firm with other collective actors, namely public authorities, trade unions and employers' associations at different levels, transnational industrial relations at company level are best analysed as dynamic networks of actors embedded in the framework of the transnational corporation, conceived as a political complex with different actors struggling for increasing their influence on corporate decision‐making processes.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2009

Michael Dickmann, Michael Müller‐Camen and Clare Kelliher

It is argued that a key step in becoming a “transnationalcompany is to implement transnational HRM (THRM). However, what is meant by THRM and how can it be assessed? The…

Abstract

Purpose

It is argued that a key step in becoming a “transnationalcompany is to implement transnational HRM (THRM). However, what is meant by THRM and how can it be assessed? The purpose of this paper is to develop the characteristics of THRM along two dimensions: standardisation and knowledge networking, in contrast to many existing studies which focus on IHRM strategies and structures. Standardisation and knowledge networking are to be examined at both the meta and operational levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on two case studies of major German MNCs, both with significant operations in Spain and the UK. Data were collected by means of semi‐structured interviews with senior managers, HR managers and labour representatives.

Findings

The findings show that THRM can be operationalised using knowledge networking and standardisation on a meta level, in terms of principles, and at an operational level in terms of practices. The two firms show differences in the process and intensity of HR knowledge networking which have implications for the level of standardisation, local autonomy and innovation capabilities. The findings also suggests that THRM is more about processes than outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the cases were only drawn from Western Europe. The patterns of THRM structures and processes may differ significantly in MNCs from other regions.

Originality/value

This paper extends existing research by exploring international HR beyond strategies and structures and focuses on communication and coordination processes. It advocates a refined view of the transnational firm.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Valeria Pulignano

The purpose of this paper is to report on research on the strategies of inequality at the workplace level of multinational corporations within the context characterized by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on research on the strategies of inequality at the workplace level of multinational corporations within the context characterized by the weakening of traditional bargaining and representation structures. Through which specific strategies multinational corporations foster inequality across different workplaces across borders and how do trade unions in Europe respond to it?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a conceptual one and it is based on existing qualitative comparative research developed by the author.

Findings

The regulatory regime of organized and governed labor markets and employment relationships is undermined by the employment relationships becoming increasingly unstable in most industrialized countries in Europe. The breakdown in the collective structures for employment regulation, particularly collective bargaining, has led to growing insecurity and inequality among working people. At the workplace level of multinationals inequality is fostered by strategies of flexibilization and benchmarking which force trade unions to negotiate concessions regarding the working conditions of different workers. Trade unions are seeking effective responses to increasing labor market instability and inequality. The paper argues that the transnational regulation of employment relationships through the European Framework Agreements (EFAs) can serve the purpose of constraining benchmarking, while containing workplace inequality.

Originality/value

This paper offers an in-depth view that the EFAs can constrain the multinationals’ strategies of benchmarking and workplace inequality. This is because EFAs can potentially spread across countries the positive gains of local negotiations where unions are able to negotiate on employment protection to other local subsidiaries where unions may struggle to do so.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2012

Nathan Lillie and Miguel Martínez Lucio

Capital, through its practices and narratives of global competition, is able to play unions in different locations off against one another through the construction and…

Abstract

Purpose

Capital, through its practices and narratives of global competition, is able to play unions in different locations off against one another through the construction and exploitation of difference. Trade unions and their activists have responded through formal institutional responses and with new forms of network‐based cooperation which is, at best, limited to action supported by the interests of union actors involved at a given juncture. This article seeks to argue that these forms of organizational responses are in themselves insufficient to allow unions to overcome the prisoner's dilemma inherent in their operating at a lower geographic level than capital.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper brings together ideas and insights from various interventions made by the authors and is a based on a review of a large part of the literature.

Findings

To regain control over labour markets would require either more systematic and structured union organizations of a transnational scope or a more concerted attempt at new forms of networking and the construction of a convincing radical counter‐narrative to that of global capitalist competition. The paper also argues that on close inspection the internationalization of capital itself exhibits significant Achilles Heels and may actually facilitate these new labour developments.

Practical implications

The paper argues that trade unions need to build their international coordinating strategies through a range of democratic and participative approaches. It also claims that transnational corporations are much more exposed by globalization than many commentators admit, trade unions and worker activists can and do exploit these gaps.

Social implications

The power of transnational corporations fails to create consistent regimes of regulation and social progress. These in turn create a series of evasive strategies that do not contribute to consistent international dialogue.

Originality/value

The article asserts that the network structure of transnational labour unionism is in itself an ineffective response to capitalist globalization and the narrative of global competition.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Håkan Pihl

The purpose of this paper is to present a synthesis of transnational tendencies in multinational enterprises (MNEs), to theoretically analyse the result and to study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a synthesis of transnational tendencies in multinational enterprises (MNEs), to theoretically analyse the result and to study whether managers in MNEs have experienced the predicted tendencies.

Design/methodology/approach

The synthesis is based on an extensive literature review which is analysed by transaction cost economics. Identified tendencies are studied in a survey of managers in MNEs.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides an overview of a fragmented research area and suggests explanations for new tendencies described in the literature. The empirical study suggests that some tendencies have been more prevalent than others.

Practical implications

The survey was conducted with MNEs with substantial activities in Sweden. It investigates how managers perceive changes that have occurred during the past several years.

Originality/value

The paper analyses a synthesized view of transnational tendencies in MNEs and the results of a survey of how managers have perceived the tendencies described in literature.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

Franklin Obeng-Odoom

Transnational corporation (TNC)-led oil investments have been widely encouraged as a mechanism for the development of the Global South. Even though the sector is…

Abstract

Transnational corporation (TNC)-led oil investments have been widely encouraged as a mechanism for the development of the Global South. Even though the sector is characterized by major accidents, oil-based developmentalist narratives claim that such accidents are merely isolated incidents that can be administratively addressed, redressed behaviorally through education of certain individuals, or corrected through individually targeted post-event legislation. Adapting Harvey Molotch’s (1970) political economy methodology of “accident research”, this paper argues that such “accidents” are, in fact, routine in the entire value chain of the oil system dominated by, among others, military-backed TNCs which increasingly collaborate with national and local oil companies similarly wedded to the ideology of growth. Based on this analysis, existing policy focus on improving technology, instituting and enforcing more environmental regulations, and the pursuit of economic nationalism in the form of withdrawing from globalization are ineffective. In such a red-hot system, built on rapidly spinning wheels of accumulation, the pursuit of slow growth characterized by breaking the chains of monopoly and oligopoly, putting commonly generated rent to common uses, and freeing labor from regulations that rob it of its produce has more potency to address the enigma of petroleum accidents in the global south.

Details

Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Peter J. Kidger

A study of the impact of globalisation on the structure and management of multinational enterprises, based upon research into twenty‐four manufacturing MNEs. Three…

Abstract

A study of the impact of globalisation on the structure and management of multinational enterprises, based upon research into twenty‐four manufacturing MNEs. Three research questions, developed from the literature, were used as the basis for an investigation into structure, control, knowledge transfer and culture in MNEs. The results confirm that there is a widespread move towards global integration, and that this is accompanied by changes in the relationships between managers from corporate and country units, and a tendency to encourage the development of best management practices across national boundaries.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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