Managing Change in an Era of Globalisation
Edited by Bernard Gazier and Frédéric Bruggeman
Chapter 9: Innovative Restructuring – Learning from Company Experience
Ola Bergström and Andreas Diedrich INTRODUCTION 1. The purpose of the Monitoring Innovative Restructuring in Europe (MIRE) project was to capitalize on innovative practices restructuring in ﬁve European countries. In this chapter we focus on the employers’ role in innovation in restructuring and critically examine the possibilities of learning from innovative examples of restructuring in Europe. Drawing upon 21 case studies of restructuring in Belgium, Sweden, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, we have analysed when, where and how innovative restructuring takes place. Despite the obvious problems related to generalizing on a small number of case studies,1 we ﬁnd that innovation takes place in all parts of the restructuring processes, but the pattern of innovation varies dependent on national and institutional context. There is a slight over-representation of innovative activity in the service and knowledge intensive industries, particularly in larger companies. We suggest that large employers may function as test beds for innovation and role models for smaller ﬁrms to imitate and copy. Also, and maybe most importantly, innovation takes place in contexts where restructuring has become a continuous process and where actors evaluate and learn from previous experience. This suggests that eﬀorts should be made to promote such learning processes as well as stimulate exchange of experiences between and among actors who engage in restructuring activities. The chapter is structured as follows. In the next section we analyse at which stage of the restructuring process – before, during or after – dismissals are made. We continue by analysing...
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