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Strategy meets institutions: The transformation of management-labor relations at Deutsche Telekom and NTT

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  • Mari Sako
  • Gregory Jackson
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    Abstract

    This comparison of labor-management relations at Deutsche Telekom (DT) and NTT Group (formerly Nippon Telephone and Telegraph) demonstrates the value of considering both institutions and strategic decision-making to understand the interaction between companies and unions. As corporations diversify, multi-divisional or holding company structures emerge, but the degree of diversity introduced in employment relations within the corporate group depends on the interaction between corporate strategy and the strategy of organized labor. The authors' field research, based on interviews with managers and labor leaders, shows that despite a broadly similar corporate strategy of diversification by DT and NTT after the liberalization of telecommunication markets, employment relations became more decentralized--both for unions and for works councils--within the DT group than within the NTT group. This difference in outcomes is explained by the relative power and strategic choices of labor and management, rather than by constraints and opportunities specific to the existing national institutions. (Free full-text download available at http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/.)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 347-366

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    Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:59:y:2006:i:3:p:347-366

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    Cited by:
    1. Fogel, Kathy S. & Lee, Kevin K. & Lee, Wayne Y. & Palmberg, Johanna, 2013. "Foreign Investors as Change Agents: The Swedish Firm Experience," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 311, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone Tuor, 2007. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling - On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," Working Papers 0067, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    3. Masahiko Aoki, 2007. "Understanding an Emergent Diversity of Corporate Governance and Organizational Architecture: An Essentiality-Based Analysis," Discussion Papers 07-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    4. Gregory JACKSON & MIYAJIMA Hideaki, 2007. "Varieties of Capitalism, Varieties of Markets: Mergers and Acquisitions in Japan, Germany, France, the UK and USA," Discussion papers 07054, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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