Identity-Building Processes in European Works Councils
Chapter 3: Methodology and structure of the report
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Methodology and structure of the report
The aim of the study is to investigate the conditions for the possibility of EWC effectiveness, based on the premise that solidaristic behaviour, through which the group becomes socially constituted, represents a crucial precondition for such a development. As a consequence, and in order to undertake comparative research, we initially decided to choose four ‘best case’ EWCs from a larger number of those that had demonstrated a capacity to undertake a range of activities, and hence representative effectiveness, and proceeded to carry out intensive case studies on these. Our aim was to identify companies in which the EWC had attained a developed practice of information and consultation, possibly extending to negotiation. We also wanted to select companies from four different industrial sectors (metals, chemicals, food, and services), with their corporate centres in four different countries. In order to identify ‘best candidates’ for inclusion, we undertook an extensive prior search process in which we drew on the advice of other EWC researchers and trade union officials active in the EWC field. Our own previous fieldwork, involving case studies of two EWCs, was also included when assembling the list of EWCs that met the criteria. The initial long list contained eight EWCs, and these were then subject to further exploratory interviews. This process yielded a final total of five candidates, and we decided to retain all five, rather than the four initially envisaged. They...
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