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International Comparative Employee Relations
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International Comparative Employee Relations

The Role of Culture and Language

9781788973212 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Karl Koch, Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages, Business School, London South Bank University, UK and Visiting Professor, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, China and Pietro Manzella, Senior Research Fellow, Association for International and Comparative Studies in the field of Labour Law and Industrial Relations (ADAPT, www.adapt.it), Italy
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78897 321 2 Extent: 224 pp
Employee relations in national contexts are significantly influenced not only by material forces but also by cultural and linguistic factors that are often highly nationally specific. In this innovative book, culture and language are analysed in terms of how they affect employee relations internationally, demonstrating the importance of recognising and understanding these elements in the face of increasing globalisation.

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Critical Acclaim
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Contents
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Employee relations in national contexts are significantly influenced not only by material forces but also by cultural and linguistic factors that are often highly nationally specific. In this innovative book, culture and language are analysed in terms of how they affect employee relations internationally, demonstrating the importance of recognising and understanding these elements in the face of increasing globalisation.

International Comparative Employee Relations first examines the subject from a broader international perspective, discussing the impact of cultural context on common areas such as labour law and collective bargaining, and exploring the issues of translating these concepts, as well as surveying current scholarship in the field. In later chapters, case studies from China, Italy, Germany, the USA and Nigeria provide specific examples of the cultural and linguistic complexity and diversity of employee relations both within and between nations.

Scholars and students of international business management, particularly those with an interest in comparative employment relations or comparative human resource management, will find this book insightful. It will also prove useful for practitioners working in areas such as cross-cultural management and translation.
Critical Acclaim
‘This excellent volume provides fascinating insights into the context-bound meaning of comparative employee relations. It shows that when terminology associated with employee relations travels across societal, cultural and language boundaries, the meaning is transformed. The contributions shed light on the metaphorical and interlingual translation of employee relations in different national contexts. The book also provides a solid conceptual foundation for comparative research in this important field. I was very impressed by the unique perspective adopted in this book.'
– Rebecca Piekkari, Aalto University School of Business, Finland

‘The complex interplay between beliefs, concepts, rhetoric and the social realities of work is a seriously under-researched area of industrial relations. Karl Koch and Pietro Manzella have performed a great service in compiling this wide-ranging survey of the issues involved [...] This book will help us all reduce the risks of becoming lost in translation.'
– from the Foreword by Richard Hyman, London School of Economics, UK
Contributors
Contributors: C. Brewster, R. Hyman, K. Koch, P. Manzella, P. Norlander, J. Opute, V. Paolucci, S. Tietze, A. Trif, R. Trinczek, M. Whittal, J. Xi








Contents
Contents:

Foreword by Richard Hyman xiii
Acknowledgements xviii
Introduction: The Language and Culture Perspective in
Employee Relations 1
Karl Koch and Pietro Manzella

PART I COMPARATIVE EMPLOYEE RELATIONS IN
CONTEXT
1 Employee Relations in Context: Globalization,
Uncertainties, and Dynamics of Change 14
Aurora Trif and Valentina Paolucci
2 Comparative Employee Relations: An Overview of
Contemporary Developments and Scholarship 39
Chris Brewster
3 A New Approach: The Incorporation of Culture,
Language and Translation Elements in Comparative
Employee Relations 58
Pietro Manzella and Karl Koch

PART II EMPLOYEE RELATIONS IN THE NATIONAL
CONTEXT
4 Employee Relations and Harmony in China 79
Jing Xi
5 Culture, Language and Translation in Comparative
Employee Relations: The Case of the Italian Caporalato 106
Pietro Manzella
6 Plant-Level Employee Representation in Germany: Is the
German Works Council a Management Stooge or the
Representative Voice of the Workforce? 119
Michael Whittall and Rainer Trinczek
7 Individualism, Democracy and Conflict in the USA 139
Peter Norlander
8 Fragmented Democracy and Employee Participation in
Nigeria 160
John Opute
9 Exploring ‘Bundles’ of Employment Practices: Culture,
Language and Translation Perspectives 184
Susanne Tietze

Index 195

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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