Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN17_06a: Change in Work and Labour: Changing Environment and Context
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Bengt Larsson, University of Gothenburg
Location: UP.1.218
University of Manchester Building: University Place, First Floor Oxford Road

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Old Company’s New Leaders: Employment Proposition for Millennial Leadership in Luxury Retail

Mark Gibbons, Joanna Karmowska

Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

Recent Advancements in technology have enabled relatively young organisations to grow at a speed, and to a scale, that enables them to reach a comparable level of employer brand equity and make them as attractive to work for as much more established organisations. As a result, traditional luxury organisations compete against younger, non-luxury companies for talent that might have been considered easier to attract previously. The study builds on the existing literature about the impact of generational differences on management practices, within the specific industry context. Whereas there is considerable literature pertaining to the wants and needs of the Millennial generation, research with the specific lens of traditional luxury retail leadership is scarce.

A case study has been conducted in a well-established luxury retail organization, using semi-structured interviews as well as document analysis. The analytical dimensions inherent in the literature constituted the initial framework of analysis, with refinements then emerging from the data.

The impact of generational differences on organizations has been widely discussed in contemporary literature (see for example Bennett, Beehr and Ivanitskaya, 2017; Cogin, 2012). Our study contributes to these discussions in two ways: (1) it reveals new aspects of the phenomenon in an under-research sector of luxury retail and (2) it highlights misalignment in perceptions between older generation of current leaders (Baby Boomers) and younger generation of future leaders (Millennials). This extends the existing theory, but also offers implications for practice of organizations, in particular in the sector of luxury retail.

Reforming Small Occupations: Continuity and Change

Carmen Baumeler, Sonja Engelage, Alexandra Strebel

Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland

Collective skill formation systems, such as those in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland, are collectively organised vocational education and training regimes: firms, intermediary associations (for example, employers’ associations, trade unions, and occupational associations), and the state cooperate in the process of skill formation (Busemeyer & Trampusch 2012). These systems provide transferable, certified occupational skills and training. Schools and companies share responsibility for education and training, usually as so-called dual apprenticeship training.

An occupation (Beruf) can be conceived of an institution (Lawrence 2004; Abraham & Hinz 2008) emerging from the institutional work of occupational associations. In Switzerland, occupational associations are responsible for defining the occupations’ training content. They are important for fostering companies’ VET contribution (Culpepper 2003), representing their members’ interests and working together with public authorities to design and implement VET policies.

In the wake of the Swiss VET policy reform of 2004, all occupations needed to be reformed and the number of occupations reduced. The increased educational requirements and administrative workload put small occupational associations under pressure. However, after ten years, different outcomes (creation, maintenance, and disruption of occupations) have become visible.

Drawing from the theoretical framework of institutional work (Lawrence & Suddaby 2006; Lawrence, Suddaby & Leca 2009; 2011; Lawrence, Suddaby & Zilber 2013) and based on a qualitative comparative case study (Patton 2005), this contribution depicts the reform processes of three small occupational associations. It addresses the following research questions: Which different practices did small occupational associations develop to deal with the recent Swiss VET reform and which commonalities and differences can be identified? We discuss the implications that our results have on the broader literature on institutional work and occupational associations.

Employer Changes After Childbirth: Can Family Friendly Arrangements Bind Mothers?

Corinna Frodermann, Ann-Christin Bächmann

Institute for Employment Research, Germany

Family-related employment interruptions after childbirth are a critical point in the employment histories of women as they often result in negative career consequences. Previous research has shown that these career consequences are even worse, if the re-entry to the labour market comes along with an employer change. In addition, also the former employer is interested in avoiding employer changes as the loss of an employee means that all investments in the human capital of the employee get lost, too.

Against this backdrop, we analyse which organizational characteristics can reduce employer changes of mothers after childbirth. Therefore, we build theory-based hypotheses upon rational choice considerations combined with social epidemiology and test these hypotheses empirically using the linked employer-employee dataset LIAB of the Institute for Employment Research in Germany. Our results based on almost 10.000 women reveal that family friendly arrangements in establishments, like flexible working hours or childcare opportunities reduce the likelihood of employer changes when re-entering the labour market. Additionally, with increasing establishment size and share of women, the probability of employer changes decreases, too.

Analysis of Social Situation in Relation to the Car Manufacturing at Technological Zone, East Bohemia Region” (CEE)

Michal Tošner

University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

This contribution presents project “Analysis of Social Situation in Relation to the Car Manufacturing at Technological Zone in East Bohemia Region” (CEE) which if supported by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic at ETA programme supporting research, experimental development and innovation of applied social sciences. In line with the policy of so-called national priority research promotes the incorporation of social sciences and humanities into of projects of applied research, experimental development and innovation, which are beneficial for maintaining and improving the quality of human life in response to dynamic social, economic, globalization, cultural and technological transformations.

Mixed methods research is focusing on various interests organized around local car manufacturing subsidiary of the multinational automotive company. In particular, the research interrogates production of Skoda brand cars, which was originally a Czech brand which was overtook through foreign direct investment during era of post-socialist transition at CEE. It is now linked in the global chain production at the low level of global value chain in global production of the German multinational automotive company (VW). Global sales and increase in demand for produced models of cars implies constant increase of the production and subsequent urgent need for more manual workers, who are attracted by offerings of significantly higher wages than are usual on labour market within wider area (post-socialist counties/CEE). We are researching governmentality in forms of policy making, “government interventions” from public sources in order to support producer to gain regional prosperity. Further it not only attracts workers from nearby areas (CZE) but also long-distance commuters (e.g. Polish workers) or migrant workers from more distant territories.

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