Corporate Governance and Workplace Partnerships Case Studies
150 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2008 Last revised: 5 Feb 2009
Date Written: December 22, 2008
This research report contains the findings of 10 case studies of Australian companies undertaken as part of a project to better understand the relationships between corporate structure, corporate governance and labour relations.
We first sought to assess each of our case study companies according to whether it could be categorised as an 'insider' controlled company or as an 'outsider' controlled company. Second, we sought to examine in each of our case studies the extent to which enterprise employment systems could be said to 'complement' the style of corporate governance within the organisation in accordance with the suppositions of the comparative capitalisms literature. Third, because we were particularly interested in the quality of employment systems (beyond their mere conformity with insider/outsider styles) we identified more specifically what we thought could be said to properly characterise 'partnership' style relations at the business enterprise level.
We investigated whether the case study companies reflect a recent pattern of development which links changes in ownership structure with a more market-oriented, shareholder-oriented, form of corporate governance accompanied by adverse or negative outcomes for employees.
In most of our studies, in the time period under review, ownership change or capital reorganisation occurred which could be said to have exposed the companies to greater 'market' or 'outsider' pressure. In our studies we attempted to examine empirically how employment systems were readjusted in each case to deal with the greater market exposure to which most of our companies were subjected. We also investigated the role of regulation in influencing these outcomes.
Keywords: corporate governance, labour relations
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