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Mitbestimmung und Innovation aus Betriebsratsperspektive. Ergebnisse qualitativer Studien (Co-determination and Innovation from a Works Council Perspective. Some Qualitative Research Findings)

Author

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  • Stefan Stracke
  • Friedemann W. Nerdinger

Abstract

Innovationen werden als wichtige Erfolgsstrategie fuer Unternehmen gesehen. Dabei stellt sich die Frage, ob es auch Aufgabe fuer Betriebsraete sein kann, langfristig die Innovationsstrategie der Unternehmen zu beeinflussen und die Innovationsbereitschaft der Beschaeftigten anzuregen. In diesem Beitrag wird analysiert, (1) unter welchen Voraussetzungen Betriebsraete bereit sind, betriebliche Innovationen zu foerdern, (2) welchen Einfluss Betriebsraete aus ihrer Sicht auf Innovationen ausueben koennen und (3) welche Interessen- und Rollenkonflikte sie dabei bewaeltigen muessen. In zwei qualitativen Studien wurden Betriebsraete in 20 Unternehmen mit dem Schwerpunkt im Bereich der Metall- und Elektroindustrie interviewt. Die Untersuchung zeigt u.a., dass Betriebsraete sich haeufig einen indirekten Einfluss auf das betriebliche Innovationsgeschehen zuschreiben. Ansatzpunkte hierfuer sind z.B. Abschluesse von Vereinbarungen zur Standort- und Beschaeftigungssicherung, in denen neben einer Absicherung fuer die Beschaeftigten auch Kriterien zur Durchfuehrung beteiligungsorientierter Innovationsprozesse festgelegt werden. (Innovation is seen as an important economic strategy for a company’s management. We discuss the question how far works councils could positively influence a company’s innovation strategy in the long term and how far they could encourage workers to participate in innovation processes. The objective of this article is, in particular, to analyse the conditions under which works councils promote innovation, their potential impact on innovation, as well as the importance of role conflicts which may result from conflicting expectations or requirements of the different actors participating in the innovation process. The analysis, which is based on interviews with works councils in 20 companies (with a focus on the metalworking sector), shows that works councils perceive their influence on innovation rather as being indirect. One option considered, for example, concerns company agreements on employment that include not only safeguarding clauses for employees but also define criteria for participation-orientated innovation processes.)

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Stracke & Friedemann W. Nerdinger, 2010. "Mitbestimmung und Innovation aus Betriebsratsperspektive. Ergebnisse qualitativer Studien (Co-determination and Innovation from a Works Council Perspective. Some Qualitative Research Findings)," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 17(1), pages 30-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:indbez:doi_10.1688/1862-0035_indb_2010_01_stracke
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    Keywords

    co-determination; works councils; innovation; role conflicts;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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