Labour Relations in International Mergers: A Political Approach
Spanish Journal of Sociological Research (REIS), Vol. 120, pp. 11-40, 2007
Posted: 25 Apr 2011
Date Written: April, 21 2011
This article studies the restructuring process following a cross-border merger between two pharmaceutical companies. Mergers and takeovers make a favourable scenario for researching the capacity that multinationals have for disseminating their policies and practices beyond the frontiers of their countries of origin. Four comparable plants in four countries, that were sufficiently diverse as regards their institutional frameworks for regulating employment relations, were selected: United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Spain. The results show that national institutional frameworks were only a relative constriction for central corporate action. Even in highly regulated countries, such as Germany or (to a lesser extent) Spain, the MNC demonstrated its capacity for disseminating the policies that it wanted to introduce. Going beyond traditional institutional factors, the research showed the importance of political factors (at corporate, national and even plant level) for an understanding of the success or failure of the corporate head office in the dissemination of certain practices.
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