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The impact of global forces on the individual: empirical evidence from the German clothing industry


  • Linda Nierling

    () (Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis-ITAS, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

  • Bettina Krings

    () (Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis-ITAS, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)


Starting from theoretical perspectives on globalisation, the following article analyses how current working conditions are affected by globalisation processes. For this purpose, recent developments in the German clothing sector are traced back to the power of economic globalisation processes. Characterising the German clothing sector as pioneer in economic globalisation, we use empirical findings to illustrate how current processes of globalisation influence the work place: At organisational level, corporate strategies aim at rationalisation, standardisation and flexibilisation of work in order to response to the economic pressure of global markets. At individual level these strategies, in turn, speed up working processes and intensify working processes for the employees. Although these developments form strong trends, we conclude that the local embeddedness of companies is still of high importance with regard to organisational and individual consequences of globalisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Nierling & Bettina Krings, 2010. "The impact of global forces on the individual: empirical evidence from the German clothing industry," IET Working Papers Series 08/2010, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:ieu:wpaper:29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
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    More about this item


    globalisation; working conditions; clothing sector; Germany; corporate strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment
    • M16 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - International Business Administration

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