Corporate Governance and Workplace Partnerships Case Studies

150 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2008 Last revised: 5 Feb 2009

See all articles by Meredith A. Jones

Meredith A. Jones

University of Melbourne - Law School

Shelley D. Marshall

RMIT University

Richard Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Date Written: December 22, 2008

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Jones, Meredith A. and Marshall, Shelley D. and Mitchell, Richard James and Ramsay, Ian, Corporate Governance and Workplace Partnerships Case Studies (December 22, 2008). U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 371. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1319440 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1319440

Meredith A. Jones

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://cclsr.law.unimelb.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=E3D272AA-B0D0-AB80-E29ECC5DD9A85AF7#meredith

Shelley D. Marshall

RMIT University ( email )

Melbourne Campus
Building 13
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia
+613 99251382 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rmit.edu.au

Richard James Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

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