The Decentralization of Collective Bargaining: A Literature Review and Comparative Analysis
The author reviews evidence that the bargaining structure is becoming more decentralized in Sweden, Australia, the former West Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, although in somewhat different degrees and ways from country to country. He then examines the various hypotheses that have been offered to explain this significant trend. Shifts in bargaining power, as well as the diversification of corporate and worker interests, have played a part in this change, he concludes, but work reorganization has been more influential still. He also explores how the roles of central unions and corporate industrial relations staffs are challenged by bargaining structure decentralization, and discusses the research gaps on this subject that need to be filled.
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