European working lives: Continuities and change in management and industrial relations in France, Scandinavia and the UK

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Publication Date 2001
ISBN 1-84064-476-1
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While the debate on the impact of globalisation on the organisation of business is well established, its impact on working life has been left relatively untouched. This book attempts to redress this imbalance by examining the effect of globalisation on the institutions, processes and practices of working life in France, Scandinavia and the UK.

The contributors examine global trends such as the decentralisation of industrial relations and the revival of neo-liberalism, and discuss them from a theoretical and empirical perspective. They go on to argue that these trends can really only exist in nationally specific contexts and focus on the changing roles of trade union and labour movements in representing workers' interests. They trace the emergence of new European institutional and political dimensions of working, and attempt to answer the question of how converged, diverged or revised European working practices have become.

This book concentrates on various aspects of working life to illustrate the variety of change and complexity and asserts the view that it is not possible to isolate abstract global trends from national, historical and social factors. Indeed, certain phenomena, such as politics, gender and culture play an important role, the authors argue, in differentiating national experiences which can superficially appear to be similar global trends.

This book will be of particular interest to labour and social economists, industrial sociologists, employment policymakers and trade unions.

Steve Jefferys is Professor of European Employment Studies, Business School, University of North London, UK. Frederik Mispelblom Beyer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Paris-Évry, France and Christer Thörnqvist is Senior Researcher at the Centre for Work Science at Göteborg University, Sweden.

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