Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2005:12:
Explaining Union Organising During Corporate Mergers

Peter Hyllman and Oskar Gunnarsson

Abstract: With the emergence of transnational corporations and the resulting internationalisation of union co-determination, unions are found to organise themselves ineffectively in order to deal with this development. This paper attempts to offer a preliminary explanation as to why unions organise themselves in any given way during corporate mergers. A major literature review as well as an in depth case study constitute the basis for the explanation provided in this paper. Our literature study identify five major ideals of union organising, shaping the ways in which unions organise themselves in order to maintain legitimacy. Our in depth case study reveal how these ideals come into play in practice and how actors in a union organising process (re)produce these ideals in resolving issues regarding organisational identity and governance. We integrate our findings in presenting a conceptual model of union organising within transnational corporations, highlighting the diverse interrelationship between ideals as well as between ideals and actors.

Keywords: Union; transnational corporation; industrial relations; co-determination; corporate democracy; (follow links to similar papers)

16 pages, October 20, 2005

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