Governance at Work: The Social Regulation of Economic Relations

Governance at Work: The Social Regulation of Economic Relations

Governance at Work: The Social Regulation of Economic Relations

Governance at Work: The Social Regulation of Economic Relations

Synopsis

Global pressures present similar challenges to companies in different countries, but how those organizations deal with them depends on the social and institutional framework in which they develop and operate. In this book, leading academics explore and explain variations in governance systems, focusing in particular on European trends.

Excerpt

This book resulted from two workshops organized as part of the series of European collaborative meetings planned as Theme A on Changing Forms of Economic Organizations of the European Science Foundation's Programme on European Management and Organizations in Transition. This series of workshops focuses on how different systems of economic coordination and control developed, and are changing, interdependently with key institutional sectors, such as political, financial, labour, and cultural systems, across Europe. The first workshop, held in Berlin in 1994, concentrated on the changing nature of the firm in Europe and resulted in the publication of The Changing European Firm: Limits to Convergence (London: Routledge, 1996), edited by R. Whitley andP. H. Kristensen. The next two, held in Helsinki in 1995 and Barcelona in 1996, were concerned with the relationships between deep-seated cultural conventions, often institutionalized before or during industrialization in many European societies, more formally established 'rules of the game', and patterns of work organization and control as developed by competing social groups within and between organizations. The present volume brings together some of the extensively revised contributions to these workshops which seek to understand the complex connections between institutions, groups, and work systems in different European countries in a comparative and historical perspective, as well as going beyond earlier, rather sweeping, analyses of Fordism, Post-Fordism, etc. Together these papers both develop a comparative framework for analysing these interconnections and show how particular systems of normative regulation--or governance structures-- developed in different societies and continue to influence the constitution and actions of collective actors in the workplace and resultant patterns of work organization. It is clear from these analyses that such patterns remain quite distinctive between countries despite the common belief in the standardizing effects of 'globalization', and that these variations are closely linked to different institutional legacies and structures.

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