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Globalization, Social Capital and Inequality

Contested Concepts, Contested Experiences

Edited by Wilfred Dolfsma and Charlie Dannreuther

This volume investigates the relationship between globalization, inequality and social capital, and reveals that although strongly related, these ideas are also highly contested. The authors elucidate the interactions between these concepts, looking in detail at the conflicts and competitiveness which can arise at both the national and organizational level.
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Chapter 7: Globalization of the employment relationship: evidence for continuning divergence

Ferrie Pot


17307_Globalisation/Chap 7 05/03/2003 9:32 am Page 1 7. Globalization of the employment relationship: evidence for continuing divergence Ferrie Pot INTRODUCTION The current diversity of employment relations across culturally diverse nation states is widely documented. Various disciplines in the social sciences have contributed to the identification of nation-specific features of the employment relationship. In a seminal work in the study of industrial relations, Dunlop (1958) introduced the concept of a ‘national industrial relations system’. Drawing on this framework, Bean (1985) and Poole (1986) collected evidence on the broad variety of national systems of industrial relations. In the realm of management and organization studies, Whitley (1997) developed the concept of ‘national work system’ to capture the manner in which employment relations are socially regulated. In the same discipline, Begin (1997) developed the concept of a ‘human resource system’ to model the systematic differences of corporate employment practices across six major developed nations. Using a Marxist perspective, Edwards (1994) employed the concept of a ‘national regime of labour regulation’ to grasp the distinct approach to labour management that unifies employers within a single country. In the domain of the sociology of work, a group of French researchers demonstrated a ‘societal effect’ on the organization of work (Maurice et al., 1986). Finally, out of a collaborative research effort of an economist and a political scientist, the concept of a ‘social system of production’ was born (Hollingsworth and Boyer, 1997). However, the diversity in the way firms organize the employment relations among culturally...

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