The Bases of Compromise in the Workplace: A Theoretical Framework

21 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Paul K. Edwards

Paul K. Edwards

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Jacques Bélanger

Laval University, Faculté des Sciences Sociales, Department of Industrial Relations

Martyn Wright

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Abstract

Schemes for workplace participation have long been promoted and vilified. Such conflicting views have been brought into sharp focus by the highly variable results of such practices as teamwork. Yet a theoretical framework to grasp workplace co-operation is lacking. This paper develops a framework on the basis of theory and a review of a wide range of empirical studies. Capital and labour each have two sets of 'concerns': over 'control' of the workplace and the longer term 'development' of the productive forces. Cross-classifying these concerns produces a matrix of patterns of workplace relations. Each cell of the matrix represents a different combination of the interests of capital and labour. The matrix can be used to map participation schemes so as to capture their varying features. The next task, pursued elsewhere, is to identify the conditions leading to locations in different cells of the matrix.

Suggested Citation

Edwards, Paul K. and Bélanger, Jacques and Wright, Martyn, The Bases of Compromise in the Workplace: A Theoretical Framework. British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 125-145, March 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=885406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.2006.00490.x

Paul K. Edwards (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Jacques Bélanger

Laval University, Faculté des Sciences Sociales, Department of Industrial Relations ( email )

Laval, Quebec G1V 0A6
Canada

Martyn Wright

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 0 24 7652 4267 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/subjects/irob/people/?email=Martyn.Wright@wbs.ac.uk

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