The Impact of Negotiators’ Positions on the Content of an International Framework Agreement
University of Rennes II
Université Paris-Est Marne la Vallée (UPEMLV)
March 15, 2012
Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2012
During the last ten years, there has been a continuous growth in the number of international framework agreements (IFAs) that have been concluded. But how can the heterogeneous nature of their contents be explained? In the absence of any legal framework, some agreements define only general principles, the application of which will have to be negotiated in each separate firm subsidiary, others specify substantive norms which are applicable across an entire firm. In this paper, our analysis focuses on measures concerning the human resources function, i.e. the HR rules as defined by the HR senior management team, particularly regarding wages, work conditions, occupational training and the missions assigned to the HR senior management team.
In following the direction suggested by Anselm Strauss, we study the link between the content of each IFA, the positions of IFA signatories and negotiators (Global Unions Federations (GUFs) and multinational corporations’ senior management), and other elements of the negotiation context. We build on the hypothesis that the agreement content depends on IFA negotiators’ positions and negotiation context. We first justify this hypothesis and then test it by comparing human resources measures in IFAs concluded by French multinational corporations. Our work is based on the examples of four French firms (Accor, France Télécom, Danone and EDF), using a longitudinal case study that has been carried out in the framework of a large research program supported by the French National Research Agency.
Keywords: company transnational collective bargaining, Global Union Federation (GUF), senior human resource management in multinational firms, labour management
JEL Classification: M12, J50Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 18, 2012
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