Problems and Perspectives in a Heterogeneous Field
The choice of case studies aims to capture a broad range of service sector employment, in terms of both working conditions and employment relations arrangements. As well as covering a number of key sectors, the choice of home countries of the selected firms also aims to capture the impact of national influences for the main industrial relations models in Europe. Overall, the study offers insights into the complexities of the Europeanization of company-level industrial relations in a dynamic field now also confronted by the convulsions unleashed by the Eurozone crisis.
Chapter 2: Methods and context
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Methods and context
2.1 Theoretical and conceptual framework
This study is guided by three analytic concepts that we have developed and detailed in previous studies of the Europeanization of company-level industrial relations and transnational collective bargaining for the metalworking industry (Rüb et al., 2013: 19ff.): the concept of multilevel transnational industrial relations, the concept of Europeanization, and a concept of negotiation that draws on the work of Anselm Strauss (1978).
2.1.1 The Multilevel System of Transnational Industrial Relations
The aim of conceptualizing transnational industrial relations as a multilevel arrangement is to structure the research field by revealing both the framework of levels and actors as well as the interdependence of a set of linked and overlapping levels.
The model is based on the idea that, as a consequence of globalization and EU integration, and in addition to national functional-institutional multilevel structures of industrial relations that have arisen over time (company, multi-employer, political levels), a European and global level of industrial relations has emerged, creating a complex and dynamic multi-tier structure of transnational industrial relations (see Table 1). The dynamics of this structure are generated through a process of constant change to which these interdependencies, interactions and balances between spatial and functional levels, including the roles of the actors, are subject. ← 7 | 8 →
This multilevel structure encompasses both horizontal and vertical processes of Europeanization.
Horizontally, company-level industrial relations are...
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