Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Managing Change in an Era of Globalisation

Edited by Bernard Gazier and Frédéric Bruggeman

This detailed, comprehensive study on downsizing in Europe is underpinned by cross-national, interdisciplinary empirical research on restructuring management in five European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It contains systematic national comparative overviews, and transversal analyses of more than 30 in-depth case studies, taking into account a broad range of perspectives across professional human resources managers, unions’ representatives, local and national civil servants, social workers and physicians. The authors examine strategic choices and practices in national and local contexts, showing that the practice of restructuring is not as heterogeneous as many previous studies have indicated or predicted. Systematic policy proposals for better economic and social management of restructuring are also prescribed.

Chapter 12: The Territory: An Innovation Laboratory

Rachel Beaujolin-Bellet

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, economics and finance, labour economics


Rachel Beaujolin-Bellet When restructuring involving job losses takes place, the territorial areas in which the companies concerned are implanted, are strongly affected by the consequences in terms of employment, financial resources, social problems, economic development, the environment and real estate management. However, territories are often not immediately considered as actors directly concerned and a fortiori involved in restructuring processes. Moreover, territorial actors are difficult to identify. They have multiple attachments to a range of institutions and do not appear in a single guise, but may (with variations according to circumstances) be administrative actors, elected representatives, company leaders, union leaders, associations, chambers of commerce and so on. Nevertheless, as the Monitoring Innovative Restructuring in Europe (MIRE) programme developed, it became clear that it was important to consider the territory1 as a possible and relevant location in which to establish regulatory restructuring systems. Indeed, the emergence of territories as a basis for the development of innovative practices informing restructuring operations has occurred within a twofold context: on one hand, the crisis of internal labour markets and on the other hand, a crisis affecting the traditional functioning modes of the states.2 The relevance of territorial actors in restructuring thus reflects the quest for efficient social regulation, which can respond to permanent transformations in the structuring of value chains, the rise in flexible forms of employment and hybridisation in the exercise of subordination modes (Petit, Thévenot, 2006). Indeed, in a context of permanent restructuring which challenges a Fordian...

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