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Transfer of Employment Practices, Varieties of Capitalism, and National Employment Systems. A Review


  • Iseke, Anja
  • Schneider, Martin


National employment systems are changing primarily through the activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs). In order to understand in how far national employment systems are susceptible to change, we revisit important quantitative empirical studies published since 1994 on the transfer of employment practices within MNEs. Three propositions are derived from a neo-institutional approach, and evidence for all of the three was found when re-analysing the empirical papers. Firstly, human resource practices are more often transferred than industrial relations practices. Secondly, HR practices are more often transferred from a liberal market economy (such as the USA) to a coordinated market economy (such as Germany) than vice versa. Thirdly, some adoption of HR practices common in the USA points to a dominance effect. Overall, the findings show that an uneven change in national employment systems is to be expected from the transfer of practices within MNEs. The limits of the analysis and further routes for research are discussed in the concluding section of the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Iseke, Anja & Schneider, Martin, 2012. "Transfer of Employment Practices, Varieties of Capitalism, and National Employment Systems. A Review," Industrielle Beziehungen - Zeitschrift fuer Arbeit, Organisation und Management - The German Journal of Industrial Relations, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 19(2), pages 236-252.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:indbez:doi_10.1688/1862-0035_indb_2012_02_iseke

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    Cited by:

    1. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Marlies Kluike & Kerstin Pull & Martin R. Schneider & Silvia Teuber, 2016. "Human resource management and radical innovation: a fuzzy-set QCA of US multinationals in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(7), pages 751-772, October.
    2. Marlies Kluike & Kerstin Pull, 2013. "Similar, but still different: how US multinational companies in Germany and Switzerland use host-country training and skill practices," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5-6), pages 495-513, November.

    More about this item


    innovative capabilities; employment systems; latent class analysis; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management


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