Employment Relations in Global Production Networks: Initiating Transfer of Practices Via Union Involvement

Human Relations, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 599-624, 2010

43 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2011

See all articles by Jörg Sydow

Jörg Sydow

Freie Universität Berlin

Markus Helfen

University of Innsbruck

Michael Fichter

Free University of Berlin (FUB)

Abstract

International Framework Agreements (IFAs) represent a still small but growing and particularly interesting contribution to the global regulation of employment relations. IFAs enable global union federations (GUFs) to become actively involved in co-designing employment relations within transnational corporations (TNCs) and their global production networks. Based upon theoretical insights into the challenges of transferring practices in and across organizations, we present and discuss a model of practice transfer for global production networks based on empirical data from a content analysis of IFAs and from interviews with representatives of TNCs, GUFs and other experts. Our study contributes to an organizational theory of practice transfer. But more importantly, it aims at a better integration of IHRM and international industrial relations by looking more closely at the particular role of GUFs as external actors.

Keywords: international human resource management, international labour relations, inter-organizational networks, trade unions, relational control, organizational stickiness

Suggested Citation

Sydow, Jörg and Helfen, Markus and Fichter, Michael, Employment Relations in Global Production Networks: Initiating Transfer of Practices Via Union Involvement. Human Relations, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 599-624, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861016

Jörg Sydow (Contact Author)

Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

School of Business & Economics
Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin
Germany
49-30-83853782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fu-berlin.de/wiwiss

Markus Helfen

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020
Austria

Michael Fichter

Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )

Van't-Hoff-Str. 8
Berlin, Berlin 14195
Germany

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