Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
RN17_04c_P: Changing Environments and the Implications for Labour Relations
Time:
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
9:00am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Jan Czarzasty, Warsaw School of Economics (SGH)
Location: PC.6.32
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 6.

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Presentations

Individual wage setting in the public sector – Fulfilments of a “one company approach”?

Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson, Bengt Larsson, Petra Adolfsson

University of Gothenburg, Sweden

An ambition within MNCs is to establish and transfer company-wide HR policies and practices across borders. Common HR policies and practices is a way to create a unified company. Yet, national institutional frameworks, with distinct norms, rules and common assumptions, exert forces on implementation and transference and thus conditions HR practices and actions.

Against the background of international companies’ quest for a “one company approach” it is interesting to explore how large national public sector organizations manage and succeed in this matter. Such organizations do not face institutional and cultural hindrances as they actually act within and share political and economic structures.

Wage setting policies and practices are particularly delicate within organizations as is aims to communicate what attitudes, behaviors, and performances that are evaluated and assessed within the organization. Wages and wage setting practices are also often discussed with reference to organizational justice theory as it is important that these procedures and practices are conducted transparent, equal and fair.

This paper explores how informational and procedural justice is perceived by employees and managers in a middle-sized municipality in Sweden. Drawing on the results from a survey study conducted in 2016, the paper discuss the possibilities for “a one company approach” in a national settings. Preliminary results show that access to and knowledge about the municipalities wage policy differs to a high degree. The paper explores whether this can be explained by field of operations within the municipally (care, education, technical etc), district, occupation, gender, age etc.


Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Re-presenting self-Employment

Annalisa Murgia

Leeds University Business School, United Kingdom

The contribution will present the ERC Starting Grant 2016 research project SHARE - Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Re-presenting self-Employment. The project is a transdisciplinary and multi-method study of the work arrangements which destabilize the dichotomies between standard and non-standard work, and between self-employment and dependent employment. More specifically, it will research solo self-employment, namely self-employment without employees. This is a growing category in Europe which comprises very different subjects, often disguised by official statistics and difficult to represent by unions: from highly skilled independent professionals to ‘fake self-employed’ workers, legally self-employed but in fact wholly dependent on the company.

SHARE will study the emergence of hybrid areas of work through a comparative research in six European countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, UK and Slovakia. Despite the overall large increase of solo self-employment, path-dependency connected to welfare state traditions has induced national legislators to adopt distinct strategies of labour-market (de)regulation and adjustment of social security systems, producing different consequences on both social protection and collective bargaining.

In the presentation the strategies to combine the comparative analysis of labour laws and labour force surveys with a cross-national ethnography will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to the new forms of collective representation of solo self-employed workers in Europe, to be explored by adopting the comparative ethnography as an on-the-ground approach, able to inform both macro and legal perspectives. By researching the practices used to classify, measure and represent the solo self-employed workers, the project aims to furnish societally relevant findings, thus providing both theoretical and applied advancements.


Declining Demographics, Growing Worker Demands: Insights from Eastern Germany

Daniel Meyer1, Stefan Schmalz2, Anne Göttert2

1Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany; 2Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

As with many other European regions, large parts of Eastern Germany are confronted with an increasingly aging and declining population. It is well established that shrinking demographics cause shortages of skilled workers and bring challenges for recruiters and companies. Largely unexplored, however, remains the impact of demographic change on the subjective perceptions and attitudes of workers. To address this, we focus on worker attitudes toward labor and employment relations using the example of East Thuringia, a structurally weak region in Eastern Germany. Conceptually, we understand demographic change as a “game changer” that sets a structural limit on wage dumping and poor working conditions, thereby affording workers a better position in the labor market. Empirically, we take a multi-level approach: on the macro level, we use official statistics to track demographic developments in seven districts over the past two decades. On the micro level, we draw upon survey data from a large regional study (n = 2,188) conducted in spring 2016 and perform cluster analyses of worker attitudes. Our findings indicate that recent demographic changes – in conjunction with other favorable socio-economic trends – have significantly increased workers’ self-confidence and demands, as measured by a shrinking fear of dismissal and a stronger orientation toward participative work arrangements, learning, health, and work-life balance initiatives. However, attitudes and demands still vary strongly by socio-economic strata and spatial factors (e.g., attractiveness, urbanization). In conclusion, employers would be well advised to consider the growing demands for better working conditions in order to attract employees and remain competitive.


Occupational Sex Segregation vis-à-vis Differences in Education, Skills and Employers’ Preferences

Szymon Czarnik, Marcin Kocór

Jagiellonian University, Poland

In societies all over the world we observe substantial amount of occupational sex segregation. This state of affairs may be brought about by a variety of factors, including stereotypical beliefs, differences between sexes in terms of personal predilections, level and type of completed education, skills required for particular kinds of job, as well as employers’ hiring preferences. Five rounds of Human Capital Study in Poland (2010-2014) provide us with unique data to investigate the interdependencies between these factors. The situation in the Polish labor market has been diagnosed via random samples of working-age population (17,600 persons each year) and employers (16,000 firms each year). We employ both sections of the study to reveal the links between the actual occupational segregation and job-holders’ and job-seekers’ characteristics, as well as job-providers’ hiring preferences. In particular, the unified framework of the study allows us to analyze the extent to which skill requirements of particular occupations coincide with skill self-evaluations of men and women in the labor market. At each level of the analysis we observe differences between sexes, and those differences tend to be intercorrelated. In our presentation we show how employers’ proclivity to hire males or females is contingent both on the type of firm, and the characteristics of the vacancy to be filled.



 
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