Change and Transformation in Asian Industrial Relations
57 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2002
We argue that industrial relations (IR) systems change due to shifts in the constraints facing those systems and that the most salient constraints facing IR systems in Asia have shifted from those of maintaining labor peace and stability in the early stages of industrialization to those of increasing both numerical and functional flexibility in the 1980s and 1990s. The evidence to sustain this argument is drawn from seven 'representative' Asian IR systems: Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and China. We also distinguish between systems that have smoothly adapted (Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines) and systems that have fundamentally transformed (China and South Korea) and hypothesize about the reasons for this difference.
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