Patterns of Articulation
There are considerable differences in how employee interests are integrated and coordinated across different representational levels. Based on case-study research in ten companies, this chapter highlights the diversity of patterns of articulation in interest representation within multinational companies (MNCs). Of the ten case studies, three were found to exemplify the patterns denoted as ‘comprehensive articulation’, three were characterised by ‘fragmented coordination’, and three by ‘international integration’. One case study was deemed to exhibit ‘disarticulation’. Both the patterns of comprehensive articulation and fragmented coordination show a high degree of vertical coordination between the transnational level and the national or local action fields of employee representation. In both patterns, the transnational level obtains inputs from the other levels and, based on transnational and national resources, produces an added value for interest representation in terms of better information, direct contact to group management, or a general strengthening of the local capacity of workforce representatives. The main difference between them is the role that specific sub-groups of employee representatives play within transnational action fields. In the other articulation patterns, this added value is reduced, at best, to information.