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.



Towards Reflexive Governance of Management-Labour Relations? Corporate Culture and Human Resource Management in Malaysia and Singapore

In many multinational companies (MNCs), strategic thinking concentrates on attempts to lower costs, improve quality and shorten delivery times by streamlining organizational structure globally and strengthening competence building locally (Tregaskis, Heraty and Morley 2001; UNCTAD 2001). This strategic agenda reflects the problem of coping with flexible demands on globalised markets and rapid technological changes and, at the same time, building a corporate culture and company identity that can equip employees to cope with these demands. In this double faceted agenda, organizational streamlining cannot stand alone but requires human resource development (HRD). The right combination of these two elements – organizational and HR development – is the key to productivity gains and competitive differentiation between companies (Best 2001). Strategy papers in Danish MNCs such as Danfoss, Grundfos and ISS illustrate this double faceted agenda (company home pages 2001–2002). In pursuit of this agenda in the last two decades we have seen management spend a lot of money and time in building a globally integrated corporate culture, common values, aims and standards with the purpose of creating a corporate “us” that is motivated and committed to change and flexibility. Some of the key mechanisms in establishing this corporate culture are direct participation, delegation of responsibility and emphasis on commitment.


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