Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Collective voice under decentralized bargaining: a comparative study of work reorganization in US and German call centres

By Virginia Doellgast


This article compares the process of and outcomes from work reorganization in US and German call centres, based on four matched case studies in the telecommunications industry. Both German cases adopted high-involvement employment systems with broad skills and worker discretion, while the US cases relied on a narrow division of labour, tight discipline and individual incentives. These outcomes are explained by differences in institutional supports for collective voice. Works councils in the German companies used their stronger participation rights to limit monitoring and encourage upskilling at a time when US managers were rationalizing similar jobs. Findings demonstrate that industrial relations institutions can have a substantial influence on employment systems in work settings characterized by decentralized bargaining and strong cost pressures

Topics: HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2010.00791.x
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.