Industrial Relations in Multinational Companies (MNCs): Double Breasting and Trade Union Avoidance in Ireland

21 Pages Posted: 13 May 2008

See all articles by Patrick Gunnigle

Patrick Gunnigle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Jonathan Lavelle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Anthony McDonnell

University of South Australia; Queen's University Management School

Date Written: March 1, 2007

Abstract

This working paper addresses the incidence of double breasting as a means of trade union avoidance in multinational companies. Double breasting is a phenomenon whereby multi-establishment firms concurrently operate union and non-union facilities. Drawing on survey findings from the largest and most representative empirical investigation of employment practice in Multinational Companies (MNCs)in Ireland to date, we profile the incidence and pattern of this particular form of union avoidance. This is done in parallel with a review of the pattern of trade union avoidance and recognition. We then subsequently use qualitative case study evidence to explore management's rationale for engaging in double breasting. We find that MNCs, at both local and global level, has proactively initiated double breasting as a strategic ploy to increase management prerogative and better position subsidiary operations to attract new investment from corporate level.

Keywords: multinational company industrial relations human resource practice ireland

JEL Classification: A1, J00, J21, J24, J50, J51, J52, J53, M54

Suggested Citation

Gunnigle, Patrick and Lavelle, Jonathan and McDonnell, Anthony, Industrial Relations in Multinational Companies (MNCs): Double Breasting and Trade Union Avoidance in Ireland (March 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1132759 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1132759

Patrick Gunnigle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland
+353 61 202380 (Phone)
+353 61 338171 (Fax)

Jonathan Lavelle (Contact Author)

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

Anthony McDonnell

University of South Australia ( email )

Australia

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

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