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Contested resources: unions, employers, and the adoption of new work practices in US and UK telecommunications

By Matias Ramirez, Frederick Guy and David Beale


The pattern of adoption of high-performance work practices has been explained in terms of strategic contingency and in terms of union presence. We compare the post-deregulation/privatization changes in work practice at AT&T, Bell Atlantic and British Telecom. On the basis of these cases, we argue that the choice of new work practices should be understood as a consequence not only of the company's resources or changes in its environment, nor of a simple union presence, but also as a consequence of the practices' effects on union power, the nature of the union's engagement, and the union's strategic choices

Topics: man
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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