Economic Interests, Company Values and Local Institutions: Shaping Soft Work Practices in a Multinational's Subsidiaries in Western and Central Eastern Europe**/Wirtschaftliche Interessen, Unternehmenswerte Und Lokale Institutionen: 'Soft Work Practices' in Ost- Und Westeuropäischen Tochtergesellschaften Eines Multinationalen Unternehmens

Industrielle BeziehungenVol. 17 Nbr. 2, April 2010

Linked as:

Extract


Economic Interests, Company Values and Local Institutions: Shaping Soft Work Practices in a Multinational's Subsidiaries in Western and Central Eastern Europe**/Wirtschaftliche Interessen, Unternehmenswerte Und Lokale Institutionen: 'Soft Work Practices' in Ost- Und Westeuropäischen Tochtergesellschaften Eines Multinationalen Unternehmens

Introduction

Globalisation and intensified transnational competition have led to the introduction of a variety of new work practices and forms of employee relations. Especially in large companies, including multinational companies (MNCs), attention to improved organisational performance is no longer Hmited to the most effective labour cost management, but involves a variety of soft work practices. These aim at motivating employees, fostering creativity and teamwork, rewarding personal initiative, providing social welfare and thus stimulating employee commitment to company interests (Dessler 1999; Dobbin 2005; Bolton/Houlihan 2007; Jacoby 2005; Nolan/O'DonneU 2003; Truss et al. 1997). The specific characteristic of soft work practices is that they are excluded from a formalised employment contract and are often beyond the scope of legal regulation or collective bargaining. Instead, they are formed and continuously recreated in management-worker interaction at the workplace. Recognizing soft practices rests on the premise that managing organizations like communities instead of distant, marketlike relationship vis-à-vis employees yields comparative advantages to companies in their business performance (Pfeffer 2006; Pfeffer /Veiga 1999; Peterson 1993). Soft work practices thus do not directly derive from labour costs, but from company values and social relations between managers and workers at the workplace.

How can we understand similarities and differences between soft work practices in MNC subsidiaries in differing local conditions? Other than reflecting the company's economic interest, a successful implementation of work practices requires attention to workers' interests, and to specific national cultural and organisational aspects in which work practices are applied (Michailova 2002; Maurice/Sorge 2000; Peterson 1993). This is particularly relevant for MNCs, because they simultaneously operate in different host-country conditions. In an attempt to understand how MNCs' soft work practices respond to corporate economic interests and host-country conditions in Western Europe and Central Eastern Europe (CEE), this paper has two aims. First, it documents and compares selected soft work practices (work systems and fringe benefits) in two Western and two CEE subsidiaries of a Dutch MNC. Acknowledging institutional variation in labour laws, industrial relations and working standards across Western Europe and CEE, the paper's second aim is to understand which factors shape the observed similarities ...

See the full content of this document


ver las páginas en versión mobile | web

ver las páginas en versión mobile | web

© Copyright 2014, vLex. All Rights Reserved.

Contents in vLex Germany

Explore vLex

For Professionals

For Partners

Company