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US Multi-Nationals and the German Industrial Relations System

Author

Listed:
  • Ingo Singe

    (Hamburg University)

  • Richard Croucher

    () (Senior Research Fellow, Human Resource Research Centre, Cranfield School of Management)

Abstract

This paper critically reviews literature on the behaviour of US-based Multi National Companies (MNCs) in Germany in relation to the historic institutions of the German labour market: works councils and industry wide collective bargaining. The German system is becoming increasingly company-rather than sectorally centred, and US-based companies have reinforced a wing of German employer opinion seeking to further these developments. Surveys show US-based companies generally accepting works councils and sectoral bargains but case study evidence also shows them seeking to weaken links with parts of the system external to the company. A typology is proposed and it is argued that many US-based companies appear to follow a ?formal compliance/content avoidance dichotomy? tending to exacerbate the system?s existing tendencies towards disarticulation. They also tend to explore all options available to them within the existing system. A research agenda is suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingo Singe & Richard Croucher, 2005. "US Multi-Nationals and the German Industrial Relations System," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 16(1), pages 123-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2005_01_singe
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    Keywords

    US Multinationals; Germany; Industrial Relations;

    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
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General

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