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What Triggers the Establishment of a Works Council?

Author

Listed:
  • Jens Mohrenweiser

    () (Center for European Economic Research, Mannheim)

  • Paul Marginson

    () (Warwick Business School)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    () (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper analyses events that trigger the establishment of a works council and the actor or agent who triggers it. The paper extends previous research in two dimensions. First, we examine specific events that motivate workers to establish a works council, such as a change of owner, founding a spin-off, a firm-acquisition or a radical restructuring. These events express risk protection as workers’ primary motivation for establishing a works council. Second, we analyse the actor or agent who triggers the establishment of a works council and show that management is involved in one third of all cases and has, in a minority of cases, motivated workers to establish a works council. Managerial involvement in the process of establishment reveals a positive managerial response to worker representation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Mohrenweiser & Paul Marginson & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "What Triggers the Establishment of a Works Council?," Working Papers 0101, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jul 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0101
    as

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    File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/ISU_WPS/101_ISU_full.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
    2. Addison, John T. & Bellmann, Lutz & Pahnke, André & Teixeira, Paulino, 2008. "A Note on the Determinants and Consequences of Outsourcing Using German Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Jelle Visser, 1995. "The Netherlands: From Paternalism to Representation," NBER Chapters,in: Works Councils: Consultation, Representation, and Cooperation in Industrial Relations, pages 79-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Olaf H¸bler & Uwe Jirjahn, 2003. "Works Councils and Collective Bargaining in Germany: The Impact on Productivity and Wages," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(4), pages 471-491, September.
    5. Uwe Jirjahn, 2009. "The Introduction of Works Councils in German Establishments - Rent Seeking or Rent Protection?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(3), pages 521-545, September.
    6. Carola M. Frege, 2002. "A Critical Assessment of the Theoretical and Empirical Research on German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 221-248, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes‐Gellner, 2011. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 427-447, August.
    2. John Forth & Alex Bryson & Anitha George, 2016. "Explaining Cross-National Variation in Workplace Employee Representation," DoQSS Working Papers 16-10, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. John T. Addison & Alex Bryson & Paulino Teixeira & André Pahnke & Lutz Bellmann, 2013. "The Extent of Collective Bargaining and Workplace Representation: Transitions between States and their Determinants. A Comparative Analysis of Germany and Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 182-209, May.
    4. Uwe Jirjahn & Vanessa Lange, 2015. "Reciprocity and Workers’ Tastes for Representation," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 188-209, June.
    5. Ellguth, Peter & Gerner, Hans-Dieter & Stegmaier, Jens, 2012. "Wage bargaining in Germany : the role of works councils and opening clauses," IAB Discussion Paper 201205, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Uwe Jirjahn, 2011. "Gender, Worker Representation and the Profitability of Firms in Germany," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(2), pages 281-298, December.
    7. Uwe Jirjahn & Steffen Mueller, 2014. "Non-union worker representation, foreign owners, and the performance of establishments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 140-163, January.
    8. Arnold, Daniel & Brändle, Tobias & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Sickness Absence, Works Councils, and Personnel Problems. Evidence from German Individual and Linked Employer-Employee Data," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79906, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. repec:bla:brjirl:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:372-395 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Oberfichtner, Michael, 2013. "Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?," Discussion Papers 83, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    11. Backes-Gellner Uschi & Mohrenweiser Jens, 2010. "Die Wirkung des Betriebsverfassungsgesetzes am Beispiel der Freistellung von Betriebsräten – ein Beitrag zur Rechtstatsachenforschung / The Effect of the Works Council Act on Paid Leave of Absence of ," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(4), pages 420-435, August.
    12. Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Die Wirkung des Betriebsverfassungsgesetzes am Beispiel der Freistellung von Betriebsräten – ein Beitrag zur Rechtstatsachenforschung," Working Papers 0104, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    13. Steffen Mueller & Jens Stegmaier, 2017. "The Dynamic Effects of Works Councils on Labour Productivity: First Evidence from Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(2), pages 372-395, June.
    14. Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser, 2013. "Active Owners and the Failure of Newly Adopted Works Councils," Research Papers in Economics 2013-04, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    15. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Jens Mohrenweiser & Kerstin Pull, 2011. "When Does Regulation Bite? Co-Determination and the Nature of Employment Relations," Working Papers 0147, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    co-determination; workers voice; establishment of a works council;

    JEL classification:

    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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