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Nordic Management Labour Relations and Internationalization

Converging and Diverging Tendencies

image of Nordic Management Labour Relations and Internationalization

An important query for the book Nordic ManagementLabour Relations and Internationalization is whether there has been any convergence towards the American or AngloSaxon neoliberal model for managementlabour relations or not, model which is rather hostile to corporative industrial relations in general and trade unions in particular. The result, however, is that although private and public management have introduced different flexibility reforms and international human resource management (HRM) models in all Nordic countries, the strong managementunion cooperation has remained relatively intact, both centrally and locally. Contrary to many other countries unions and employees have often been positive to competence development, participation and flexible assignments, which were part of unions' codetermination policy of the 1970s aiming for workers to act as equal partners. The book covers different aspects and themes of the global influence on Nordic working life: ­ A theoretical introduction to convergence versus divergence regarding industrial relations and Nordic managementlabour relations; ­ Influence of international HRM policies in Nordic multinational companies and on national IR systems studied in four chapters: in Norway; in Sweden; in Malaysia and Singapore; in European Works Councils; ­ Flexibility strategies and consequences for industrial relations in Sweden; ­ Individualization of salaries in the Danish public sector; ­ Industrial relations and occupational health and safety; ­ Increasing malefemale employee difference regarding IR strategies.

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Decentralized Pay in the Danish Public Sector

New Public Management has spread also to the Nordic countries. It could be argued that there is a special Nordic variant at the local level in the municipalities and counties, while the development in the state sector has been more in accordance with an Anglo-Saxon main stream (Klausen and Ståhlberg 1998: 197). In any case an important aspect of the development in Denmark is new pay systems, which have implicated nearly a revolution in the pay systems of the public sector (Bregn 1998a). Since 1997, we have seen a fundamental change take place. The payment systems have been changed from systems based on central and collective agreements to decentralized and individualized systems. Central goals of the new pay systems have been to improve efficiency and also to make public sector jobs more attractive. One of the most important aspects of the new pay system has been the introduction of pay supplements which are based on individual assessments.

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