Structure, Politics and the Diffusion of Employment Practices in Multinationals
European Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 286-306, 1999
Posted: 25 Apr 2011
Date Written: April, 21 2011
This article discusses the diffusion of employment practices across borders in multinational companies (MNCs). Case study data are used to address two central questions: whether all MNCs attempt to engage in diffusion, and how this process occurs. We argue that diffusion is not a universal tendency but is promoted or retarded by such factors as the country of origin, the degree of production integration, the extent to which companies are structured along global lines and the nature of product markets. Where diffusion occurs, we suggest that it commonly involves a process which we term `networking within hierarchy'. Diffusion should be seen as the interaction of structural factors and political processes, which we call the `bi-directional' relationship between structure and politics.
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