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    Industrial Novels in Perspective of Industrial Sociology: A Comparison Between Weimar Germany and post-WWII Italy
    de Gier, Erik (2017-10-01)
    [Excerpt] Since the English Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, almost up to the present century, the so-called industrial novel played a significant role in many industrializing and industrialized countries in making aware workers, politicians and policy makers, as well as the general public, of the lack of quality of working conditions in separate enterprises and/or sectors. Also, these novels contributed in a positive way to the emancipation of workers in society. Well-known examples are the famous industrial novels of the English Victorian writers Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. But also in other countries the genre of the industrial novel became notorious in due course. In France, for example the 'naturalist' industrial novels of Emile Zola, like Germinal, had a significant influence on the development of social and labour policies at the time of the French Third Republic. After the turn of the century the industrial novel also became manifest in other industrialized countries; first before World War I in the USA, by the Inter-bellum in Germany and the USSR, and after World War II in particular in Italy. Even nowadays, albeit less frequently and less influential, industrial novels are still being published. Very often these novels were based on extensive desk research and/or even empirical research on site of its authors. For this reason, these novels may also be considered as a form of relevant pseudo- or ex-ante sociological research, regretfully often neglected in the context of vested labour and industrial sociology. From a scientific, but also societal viewpoint this certainly has been and still is a missed opportunity. In this article I will demonstrate this by comparing and juxtaposing systematically industrial novels written in two important European countries in two different time periods: Germany at the time of the Weimar republic in the 1920s, and post-war Italy in the 1950s and early 1960s. In sum, what in fact could industrial novels contribute to the existing sociological knowledge?
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    Paradise Lost Revisited: GM and the UAW in Historical Perspective
    de Gier, Erik (2010-09-01)
    Purpose Analysis of historic relationship between GM and Union of Automobile Workers (UAW) from 1936 through the moment of bankruptcy of GM in 2009. How can this historic relationship be explained from the viewpoint of evolving labor and industrial relations in the US? Design/methodology/approach Historical and comparative analyses. Secondary analysis. Findings Over time the relationship has been a dynamic and flexible one. In the first decades the most important objective of the UAW was the recognition of the union by GM. From the second half of the 1940s until the 1970s the main attention of both parties shifted towards a dynamic wage policy. Finally, from the 1970s onwards the safeguarding of job security became the main objective of the UAW, whereas GM tried to maximize its room of maneuver to transform its Fordist production system into a more flexible one. Research limitations/implications The present study provides a starting point for further in-depth research towards the historic relationship between GM & the UAW. Originality/value Longitudinal approach of development of labor-management relationship between two opposite parties in differing economic and technological contexts.
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    New Deal Labor Reforms and their Aftermath: The Flawed Evolution of the American Labor-Management Model as Regards Center Firms, 1945-1980
    de Gier, Erik (2011-02-01)
    Between 1945-1980, there existed a social compact between the three main parties involved. However, from the onset one or more of the three parties contested this social compact almost permanently. As a result, about 1980 the social compact had been eroded significantly and seemed no longer viable. This doesn’t justify the conclusion drawn by different experts that the New Deal and its aftermath until 1980 should be considered as unique and as an exception in the history of American labor and industrial relations. Rather, it can be contended that if the New Deal had in time adopted more elements of the preceding factory system and welfare capitalism of large firms a less exceptional and also more linear and gradual evolution of the post-war American system of labor and industrial relations would have been more likely.
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    The Wage-Productivity Gap Revisited: Is the Labour Share Neutral to Employment?
    Karanassou, Marika; Sala, Hector (2010-07-12)
    This paper challenges the prevailing view of the neutrality of the labour income share to labour demand, and investigates its impact on the evolution of employment. Whilst maintaining the assumption of a unitary long-run elasticity of wages with respect to productivity, we demonstrate that productivity growth affects the labour share in the long run due to frictional growth (that is, the interplay of wage dynamics and productivity growth). In the light of this result, we consider a stylised labour demand equation and show that the labour share is a driving force of employment. We substantiate our analytical exposition by providing empirical models of wage setting and employment equations for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US over the 1960-2008 period. Our findings show that the time-varying labour share of these countries has significantly influenced their employment trajectories across decades. This indicates that the evolution of the labour income share (or, equivalently, the wage-productivity gap) deserves the attention of policy makers.
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    Factor Shares, the Price Markup, and the Elasticity of Substitution Between Capital and Labor
    Raurich, Xavier; Sala, Hector; Sorolla, Valeri (2010-07-23)
    The labor income share is constant under the assumptions of a Cobb-Douglas production function and perfect competition. This paper relaxes these assumptions and investigates to what extent the actual non-constant behavior of this factor share is explained by (i) a non-unitary elasticity of substitution between capital and labor and (ii) non-perfect competition in the product market. We focus on Spain and the U.S. and estimate a constant elasticity of substitution production function under imperfect competition in the product market. The degree of imperfect competition is measured through a time series computation of the price markup following the dual approach. We show that the elasticity of substitution is above one in Spain and below one in the US. We also show that the price markup drives the elasticity of substitution away from one, upwards in Spain, downwards in the U.S. These results are used to explain the declining path of the labor income share, common to both economies, and their contrasted patterns in terms of capital deepening.
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    An Institutionalist Perspective on the Global Financial Crisis
    Whalen, Charles J. (2009-04-01)
    This essay, prepared for a forthcoming collection of perspectives on the current world economic crisis, offers an institutionalist viewpoint on the financial crisis at the center of world attention since mid-2008. It is divided into three sections. The first section provides a brief history of the institutionalist understanding of how an economy operates, with special emphasis on a tradition known as post-Keynesian institutionalism (PKI). The second section draws on PKI to offer an explanation of the global financial crisis. The third section identifies some of the public-policy steps that are required to achieve a more stable and broadly shared prosperity in the United States and abroad. At the heart of PKI is attention to unemployment and the broader economic concerns facing working families. That focus is rooted in the shared interests of John R. Commons and John M. Keynes, who saw the business cycle as an important cause of unemployment and recognized that attaining greater economic stability requires understanding the operation and evolution of financial institutions.
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    Globalisation of HR at Function Level: Exploring the Issues Through International Recruitment, Selection and Assessment Processes
    Sparrow, Paul R. (2006-01-12)
    Much of the debate around convergence-divergence is based around comparative analysis of HR systems. However, we need now to combine these insights with work in the field of IHRM on firm-level motivations to optimise, standardise and export HR models abroad. A series of the changes are being wrought on a range of IHRM functions – recruitment, global staffing, management development and careers, and rewards - by the process of globalisation highlighting the difference between globally standardised, optimised or localised HR processes. This paper reports on a study of firm-level developments in international recruitment, selection and assessment, drawing upon an analysis of four case studies each conducted in a different context. Organisations are building IHRM functions that are shifting from the management of expatriation towards supplementary services to the business aimed at facilitating the globalisation process, and this involves capitalising upon the fragmentation of international employees. As HR realigns itself in response to this process of within-function globalisation (building new alliances with other functions such as marketing and IS) the new activity streams that are being developed and the new roles and skills of the HR function carry important implications for the study of convergence and divergence of IHRM practice. Globalisation at firm level revolves around complexity, and this is evidenced in two ways: first, the range of theory that we have to draw upon, and the competing issues that surface depending on the level of analysis that is adopted; and second, the different picture that might emerge depending upon the level of analysis that is adopted. This paper shows that although the field of IHRM has traditionally drawn upon core theories such as the resource-based view of the firm, relational and social capital, and institutional theory, once the full range of resourcing options now open to IHRM functions are considered, it is evident that we need to incorporate both more micro theory, as well as insights from contingent fields in order to explain some of the new practices that are emerging.
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    What is Strategic Competence and Does it Matter? Exposition of the Concept and a Research Agenda
    Sparrow, Paul R.; Hodgkinson, Gerard P. (2006-01-01)
    Drawing on a range of theoretical and empirical insights from strategic management and the cognitive and organizational sciences, we argue that strategic competence constitutes the ability of organizations and the individuals who operate within them to work within their cognitive limitations in such a way that they are able to maintain an appropriate level of responsiveness to the contingencies confronting them. Using the language of the resource based view of the firm, we argue that this meta-level competence represents a confluence of individual and organizational characteristics, suitably configured to enable the detection of those weak signals indicative of the need for change and to act accordingly, thereby minimising the dangers of cognitive bias and cognitive inertia. In an era of unprecedented informational burdens and instability, we argue that this competence is central to the longer-term survival and well being of the organization. We conclude with a consideration of the major scientific challenges that lie ahead, if the ideas contained within this paper are to be validated.
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    Sull’inadempimento dell’obbligazione contributiva nella previdenza complementare
    Faioli, Michele (2008-02-18)
    Sommario: 1. Premessa. Appartenenza e libertà individuale. - 2. Soggetti del rapporto contributivo: modalità di adesione, profilo positivo e negativo della libertà di adesione e conferimento tacito inteso come mancato esercizio del potere di rifiuto. - 3. Adempimento contributivo, conferimento del TFR e novità in tema di TFR non destinato alle forme pensionistiche complementari. – 4. Protezione delle posizioni previdenziali complementari. - 5. Osservazioni conclusive sulle tutele degli aderenti e sulla vigilanza prudenziale alla luce del decreto legislativo n. 28 del 2007 di recepimento della direttiva 2003/41/CE.
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    Solidarity Whenever? A Framework For Analysing When Unions Are Likely to Practice Collaboration With the Community
    Tattersall, Amanda (2006-01-01)
    In Seeking Solidarity, Turner et al consider the opportunities and choices that make city-wide union movements more or less likely to shift towards community unionism and practice labour-community coalitions (Turner and Cornfield forthcoming). This paper takes a narrower frame of analysis – the single local union – and considers the opportunities and choices that influence likely community unionism practice. Community unionism is defined as the range of strategies that involve unions 'reaching out' to the community. These include labor-community coalitions (reaching out to community groups), broadening the frame of union campaigns to embrace 'community concern' (reaching out to community issues), and campaigns that seek to control place (reaching out to local communities). The paper builds a typology of factors that suggest when community unionism, or union collaboration with the community, is likely to develop. It first considers an 'opportunity structure' including environmental/economic context, union identity, structure and characteristics and union relationships. Secondly it considers the internal choices that unions make, noting the organisational, identity/interest and scale dimensions of union agency. I conclude that a union is most likely to undertake collaboration with the community when its accesses and embodies the 'attributes of community' in both its opportunity structure and choices. It explores this framework with reference to the shift to community unionism using examples from the Australian and US union movements.