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Transformations of firm organization: network enterprise and employment regulation


  • Tiziano Treu


The article analyses the impact of different forms of firm organization on the regulation of employment and on collective labour relations: on one hand, decentralization, outsourcing, sub contracting; on the other hand group enterprise, network forms of enterprise, regional clusters. The impact is ambivalent and so are the reactions of the law. The application of protective labour legislation is more uncertain. The judges are committed not only to control possible abuses of these forms, but to find new criteria to identify the «real» employer beyond the formal subject of the employment contract, i.e. the person/firm which actually utilizes the work. Some time co-employers are identified, particularly when based on mutual consensus. However the corporate veil remains basically untouched. The article analyses the recent forms of enterprise aggregation showing how they present new opportunities for a flexible use of employment, for positive trade off between internal flexibility, promotion of new relational skills of employees and employment stability, and for innovative collective labour relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiziano Treu, 2012. "Transformations of firm organization: network enterprise and employment regulation," Mercato Concorrenza Regole, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 7-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:jhpfyn:doi:10.1434/36771:y:2012:i:1:p:7-38

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    More about this item


    JEL: J0; J2; J24; J50; J54; KEYWORDS: contractual integration; network forms of organization; group-enterprise; industrial districts and regional clusters;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms


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