Articulation Practices in Comparison: Patterns, Conditions, and Outcomes of Employee Interest Representation
This chapter offers a systematic comparison of articulation patterns across ten multinational companies (MNCs), concentrating on two key questions: How does integration and coordination differ between different patterns of articulation? And what role is played in this by actors, resources, and interpretative schemes? In a period in which employee representatives in MNCs have been confronted by a range of new challenges, a wide spectrum of practices in exchange and coordination has emerged. This encompasses a simple exchange of information, the presence of European Works Council (EWC) members in local negotiations and EWC working groups that involve local representatives, and extends to coordination, mobilisation, and industrial action. These differences suggest that cross-border restructuring, which offers particular opportunity structures for interest articulation, will, on its own, not lead to any notable degree of articulation between the action fields of employee representation in MNCs. Rather, in order to understand how particular patterns of articulation emerge, specific organisational structures and actors’ diverging interpretations have to be taken into consideration. Our case studies indicate, however, that, in general, articulation practice has a positive effect on successful employee interest representation within MNCs.
KeywordsMultinational companies Articulation European Works Councils Participation outcomes Transnational coordination
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