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Logics of Action, Globalization, and Employment Relations Change in China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines

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A logic of action framework is developed in order to conceptualize and understand the impact of globalization on employment relations, as well as to predict the future trajectory of employment relations. The argument is that the interplay between three different logics of action, i.e., the logic of competition, the logic of industrial peace, and the logic of employment-income protection determines the employment relations pattern in any given nation. The strengths of the logics themselves are determined by five often related factors, i.e., economic development strategy, the intensity of globalization, union strength, labor market features and government responsiveness to workers. Drawing on extensive field research on national policies and workplace practices in India, China, the Philippines and Malaysia, we show support for our framework. We find that ER patterns are reflect different combinations of logic strengths, that globalization's impact on employment relations is not only complex, but contingent, and we suggest that long term convergence in employment relations is unlikely given variations in the combinations of logic strengths in different countries, and changes in logic strengths over time.

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2002-04-01

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globalization; employment relations; India; China; Philippines; Malaysia

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Required Publisher Statement: Copyright by Cornell University. Final paper published as: Frenkel, S., & Kuruvilla, S. (2002). Logics of Action, Globalization, and Changing Employment Relations in China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 55, 387-412.

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