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International framework agreements: new paths to workers' participation in multinationals'governance?


  • Isabelle Schomann


  • André Sobczak

    () (Audencia Recherche - Audencia)

  • Eckhard Voss

    (Wilke, Maack and Partner - Wilke, Maack and Partner)

  • Peter Wilke

    (Wilke, Maack and Partner - Wilke, Maack and Partner)


This article describes the results of a major study on the impact of codes of conduct and international framework agreements (IFAs) on social regulation at company level. The limits of labour legislation at the national, as well as the international, level provide a strong motivation for both multinationals and trade unions to negotiate and sign IFAs. IFAs offer a way to regulate the social consequences of globalisation and to secure adherence to labour and social standards. They thus form part of the growing political debate on the international working and production standards of private actors. Examination of the negotiation process, the motivations of the parties, and the content of the agreements and implementation measures provides valuable insights into the impact of IFAs on multinationals' behaviour in respect of social dialogue and core labour standards. Finally, the article highlights the influence of such agreements on public policy-making and the limits of private self-regulation at European and international level, addressing the growing and controversial debate on the need for supranational structures to regulate labour standards and industrial relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabelle Schomann & André Sobczak & Eckhard Voss & Peter Wilke, 2008. "International framework agreements: new paths to workers' participation in multinationals'governance?," Post-Print hal-00765396, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00765396
    DOI: 10.1177/102425890801400110
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