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Vertical Disintegration and the Disorganization of German Industrial Relations-super-1

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  • Virginia Doellgast
  • Ian Greer

Abstract

Drawing on case studies from the telecommunications and auto industries, the authors argue that the vertical disintegration of major German employers is contributing to the disorganization of Germany's dual system of in-plant and sectoral negotiations. Subcontractors, subsidiaries and temporary agencies often have no collective bargaining institutions or are covered by different firm-level and sectoral agreements. As core employers move jobs to these firms, they introduce new organizational boundaries across the production chain and disrupt traditional bargaining structures. Worker representatives are developing new campaign approaches and using residual power at large firms to establish representation in new firms and sectors, but these have not been successful at rebuilding co-ordinated bargaining. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginia Doellgast & Ian Greer, 2007. "Vertical Disintegration and the Disorganization of German Industrial Relations-super-1," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(1), pages 55-76, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:1:p:55-76
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Streeck, Wolfgang, 2001. "The transformation of corporate organization in Europe: An overview," MPIfG Working Paper 01/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. Rehder, Britta, 2003. "Betriebliche Bündnisse für Arbeit in Deutschland: Mitbestimmung und Flächentarif im Wandel," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 48, number 48.
    3. Höpner, Martin, 2003. "Wer beherrscht die Unternehmen? Shareholder Value, Managerherrschaft und Mitbestimmung in Deutschland," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 46, number 46.
    4. Hassel, Anke & Rehder, Britta, 2001. "Institutional change in the German wage bargaining system: The role of big companies," MPIfG Working Paper 01/9, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    5. Jürgens, Ulrich, 2004. "Gibt es einen europaspezifischen Entwicklungsweg in der Automobilindustrie?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Knowledge, Production Systems and Work SP III 2004-301, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ninke Mussche & Dries Lens, 2018. "The EU Free Movement of Services and the growing mobility of Third-Country Nationals as posted workers," Working Papers 1813, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. Niklas Egels-Zandén, 2009. "Transnational Governance of Workers’ Rights: Outlining a Research Agenda," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 169-188, June.
    3. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:21-33 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bispinck, Reinhard & Schulten, Thorsten, 2014. "Wages, collective bargaining and economic development in Germany: Towards a more expansive and solidaristic development?," WSI Working Papers 191, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    5. Thomas J. Holmes & Julia Thornton Snider, 2009. "A Theory of Outsourcing and Wage Decline," NBER Working Papers 14856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Carluccio, Juan & Bas, Maria, 2015. "The impact of worker bargaining power on the organization of global firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 162-181.
    7. Krzywdzinski, Martin, 2014. "How the EU’s Eastern Enlargement Changed the German Productive Model. The Case of the Automotive industry," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 15.
    8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:3:p:1165-1217. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2014. "Variable Pay, Industrial Relations and Foreign Ownership: Evidence from Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(3), pages 521-552, September.
    10. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2011. "The Demise of a Model? The State of Collective Bargaining and Worker Representation in Germany," GEMF Working Papers 2011-09, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    11. Niklas Egels-Zandén, 2009. "TNC Motives for Signing International Framework Agreements: A Continuous Bargaining Model of Stakeholder Pressure," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 84(4), pages 529-547, February.
    12. John Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2012. "Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Evidence from the Orientation of Uncovered Employers," GEMF Working Papers 2012-07, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    13. Chiara Benassi, 2016. "Liberalization Only at the Margins? Analysing the Growth of Temporary Work in German Core Manufacturing Sectors," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(3), pages 597-622, September.
    14. Godard, John & Frege, Carola M., 2014. "Worker perceptions of representation and rights in Germany and the USA," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56527, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Ines Wagner & Nathan Lillie, 2014. "European Integration and the Disembedding of Labour Market Regulation: Transnational Labour Relations at the European Central Bank Construction Site," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 403-419, March.
    16. Deborah Goldschmidt & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2017. "The Rise of Domestic Outsourcing and the Evolution of the German Wage Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1165-1217.
    17. Bjarke Refslund, 2016. "The outsourcing challenge: organizing workers across fragmented production networks," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(5), pages 1034-1036, May.
    18. Virginia Doellgast, 2010. "Collective Voice under Decentralized Bargaining: A Comparative Study of Work Reorganization in US and German Call Centres," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(2), pages 375-399, June.
    19. Ines Wagner, 2015. "The Political Economy of Borders in a 'Borderless' European Labour Market," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(6), pages 1370-1385, November.
    20. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2016. "Is the Erosion Thesis Overblown? Alignment from Without in Germany," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 415-443, July.
    21. Ines Wagner, 2015. "Rule Enactment in a Pan-European Labour Market: Transnational Posted Work in the German Construction Sector," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(4), pages 692-710, December.
    22. Anke Hassel, 2014. "The Paradox of Liberalization — Understanding Dualism and the Recovery of the German Political Economy," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(1), pages 57-81, March.
    23. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Alex Bryson & André Pahnke, 2013. "Collective Agreement Status and Survivability: Change and Persistence in the German Model," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(3), pages 288-309, September.
    24. Peng, Fei & Siebert, W. Stanley, 2007. "Real Wage Cyclicality in Germany and the UK: New Results Using Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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