2 June 2017

How are trust-based bargaining relations reproduced at company level? The importance of informal contacts

Decentralization of collective bargaining has become widespread in developed economies, and EU policies have pushed this trend further. We use process-tracing methodology to explore the consequences of decentralization for the reproduction of partnership bargaining relations at company level. We compare two cases of local bargaining processes in manufacturing, one in Denmark, where decentralization is agreement-based, and one in Australia, where decentralization is regulated by law. Our results indicate that agreement-based decentralization seems to offer better process conditions for reproduction of local partnership compared to decentralization regulated by law. Especially, the access to establish and use informal contacts during negotiation processes in agreement-based decentralization appears to be of vital importance.

The article Partnership under pressure: A process perspective on decentralized bargaining in Danish and Australian manufacturing is published in European Journal of Industrial Relations, June 2nd 2017.

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