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What Triggers the Establishment of a Works Council?

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Author Info

  • Jens Mohrenweiser

    ()
    (Center for European Economic Research, Mannheim)

  • Paul Marginson

    ()
    (Warwick Business School)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper analyses events that trigger the establishment of a works council and the actor or agent who triggers it. The paper extends previous research in two dimensions. First, we examine specific events that motivate workers to establish a works council, such as a change of owner, founding a spin-off, a firm-acquisition or a radical restructuring. These events express risk protection as workers’ primary motivation for establishing a works council. Second, we analyse the actor or agent who triggers the establishment of a works council and show that management is involved in one third of all cases and has, in a minority of cases, motivated workers to establish a works council. Managerial involvement in the process of establishment reveals a positive managerial response to worker representation.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/ISU_WPS/101_ISU_full.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Working Papers with number 0101.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0101

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Related research

Keywords: co-determination; workers voice; establishment of a works council;

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References

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  1. Jelle Visser, 1995. "The Netherlands: From Paternalism to Representation," NBER Chapters, in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 79-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Addison, John T. & Schnabel, Claus & Wagner, Joachim, 2003. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," IZA Discussion Papers 878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Hübler, Olaf & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2001. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Pahnke, André & Teixeira, Paulino, 2008. "A Note on the Determinants and Consequences of Outsourcing Using German Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Carola M. Frege, 2002. "A Critical Assessment of the Theoretical and Empirical Research on German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 221-248, 06.
  6. Uwe Jirjahn, 2009. "The Introduction of Works Councils in German Establishments - Rent Seeking or Rent Protection?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(3), pages 521-545, 09.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dr Alex Bryson, 2009. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," NIESR Discussion Papers 2416, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  2. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Die Wirkung des Betriebsverfassungsgesetzes am Beispiel der Freistellung von Betriebsräten – ein Beitrag zur Rechtstatsachenforschung," Working Papers 0104, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  3. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Jens Mohrenweiser & Kerstin Pull, 2011. "When Does Regulation Bite? Co-Determination and the Nature of Employment Relations," Working Papers 0147, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  4. Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2010. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Research Papers in Economics 2010-06, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  5. Uwe Jirjahn, 2011. "Gender, Worker Representation and the Profitability of Firms in Germany," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(2), pages 281-298, December.
  6. Ellguth, Peter & Gerner, Hans-Dieter & Stegmaier, Jens, 2012. "Wage bargaining in Germany : the role of works councils and opening clauses," IAB Discussion Paper 201205, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  7. Uwe Jirjahn & Vanessa Lange, 2011. "Reciprocity and Workers' Tastes for Representation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 402, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. Uwe Jirjahn & Steffen Mueller, 2011. "Nonunion Worker Representation, Foreign Owners and the Performance of Establishments," Research Papers in Economics 2011-03, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  9. Müller, Steffen & Stegmaier, Jens, 2013. "The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Labor Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79846, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  10. Oberfichtner, Michael, 2013. "Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?," Discussion Papers 83, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  11. Jirjahn, Uwe & Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2013. "Active owners and the failure of newly adopted works councils," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Arnold, Daniel & Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Sickness Absence, Works Councils, and Personnel Problems. Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79906, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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