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Collective voice under decentralized bargaining: a comparative study of work reorganization in US and German call centres

Doellgast, Virginia (2010) Collective voice under decentralized bargaining: a comparative study of work reorganization in US and German call centres. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 48 (2). pp. 375-399. ISSN 0007-1080

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Abstract

This article compares the process of and outcomes from work reorganization in US and German call centres, based on four matched case studies in the telecommunications industry. Both German cases adopted high-involvement employment systems with broad skills and worker discretion, while the US cases relied on a narrow division of labour, tight discipline and individual incentives. These outcomes are explained by differences in institutional supports for collective voice. Works councils in the German companies used their stronger participation rights to limit monitoring and encourage upskilling at a time when US managers were rationalizing similar jobs. Findings demonstrate that industrial relations institutions can have a substantial influence on employment systems in work settings characterized by decentralized bargaining and strong cost pressures.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2010 Wiley-Blackwell
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Management
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2011 15:41
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35280/

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