Beyond Works Councils?: Employee Participation in a Regional High-Tech Cluster

Jonas, Michael and Berner, Marion (October 2006) Beyond Works Councils?: Employee Participation in a Regional High-Tech Cluster. IHS Sociological Series 80

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Abstract: German policy makers promote investments into high technology fields to increase employment and to further innovation. In North Rhine-Westphalia, regional and local governments are spending vast amounts of money to foster the set up of a microsystems technology cluster in the old industrial region of Dortmund. There have been important public activities to build an infrastructure in this field since the late 1980s and more than twenty small and medium sized enterprises have successfully established themselves in the Dortmund region in the last ten years. This gives rise to questions about the relevance of employee participation in a field where the age of companies is low, the proportion of academic employees is high, and where the influence of trade unions on company level tends to be zero. Based on empirical studies, it is argued that there indeed is no 'zone without participation'. Although only few workers' representations exit, we can observe the emergence of a wide range of direct participation forms and practices. The paper deals with common practices of participation in three types of microsystems firms in the Dortmund region with the aim to analyse the emerging participation culture and to discuss the possibilities and limits to direct participation.;

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: 'Partizipation' 'Regionale Cluster' 'Hochtechnologie' 'Dortmund' 'Participation' 'Regional cluster' 'High-technology'
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:38
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2017 05:58
URI: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/1731

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