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Contested Resources: Unions, Employers, and the Adoption of New Work Practices in US and UK Telecommunications


  • Matias Ramirez
  • Frederick Guy
  • David Beale


The pattern of adoption of high-performance work practices has been explained in terms of strategic contingency and in terms of union presence. We compare the post-deregulation/privatization changes in work practice at AT&T, Bell Atlantic and British Telecom. On the basis of these cases, we argue that the choice of new work practices should be understood as a consequence not only of the company's resources or changes in its environment, nor of a simple union presence, but also as a consequence of the practices' effects on union power, the nature of the union's engagement, and the union's strategic choices. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2007.

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  • Matias Ramirez & Frederick Guy & David Beale, 2007. "Contested Resources: Unions, Employers, and the Adoption of New Work Practices in US and UK Telecommunications," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 495-517, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:45:y:2007:i:3:p:495-517

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    1. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226731445 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. White, Gordon & Howell, Jude A. & Shang Xiaoyuan,, 1996. "In Search of Civil Society: Market Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289562, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2007. "Power, productivity and profits," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    2. Ollo-López, Andrea & Bayo-Moriones, Alberto & Larraza-Kintana, Martín, 2011. "The impact of country-level factors on the use of new work practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 394-403, July.
    3. 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.

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