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Workers, Citizens, Governance

Socio-Cultural Innovation at Work

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Francesco Garibaldo, Mirella Baglioni, Catherine Casey and Volker Telljohann

This book pursues principal aims. First it describes and reviews current concerns in regard to the conditions of labour markets, production organizations, working conditions, and industrial and employment relations. Prominent among these concerns are the crisis in trade unions and in democratic labour market institutions, and the rise of what many critics regard as technocratic administrative powers in the displacement of democratic practices. Furthermore the book explores aspects of the search for socio-cultural innovation in the wide areas of work, industrial, organizational, management, and employment relations. It therefore deals with participatory democratic practices in the world of work and production, with citizenship, social cohesion, wider participation in education and training, as well as with cultural interests in identity, solidarity and non-market values.

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Path dependency and Research on Labour relations. Mirella Baglioni

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49 Path dependency and Research on Labour relations Mirella Baglioni This chapter discusses path dependency in contemporary labour relations. It de- scribes the main approaches to the role of institutions in a phase of internation- alization, with particular attention to the lessons learnt from social pacts. Reduced national autonomy in socio economic regulation is today calling into question the neo institutionalism approach which has hitherto contributed to a very large extent to our understanding of the dynamics in industrial relations. A new research approach is needed to interpret the trends of change and the role currently played by socio-cultural innovation in changing I.R. 1. Internationalisation and national identities National labour relations remain highly differentiated although economic inter- nationalization has reduced the autonomy of national regulatory institutions. Na- tional labour relations accommodate and adapt to external pressures in different ways which deserve a careful analysis and deep understanding of the dynamics of change. The main indicators of changes in I.R. during recent decades are the follow- ing: A) Less influence of collective bargaining over wages (coverage) and workers’ rights (legislation and contractual working conditions). Labour market seg- mentation with atypical job profiles, fixed term contracts and a plethora of other work contracts have increased differentiation among workers, reduced solidarity and negatively affected unionisation rates. B) Decreasing unionisation in most European countries and increasing polari- sation of union membership in non-exposed sectors. C) Diminished conflict rates in EU member states. Internationalisation has impacted on existing labour relations in different ways, forcing them...

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