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Dissonant cognitions in European works councils: A ‘comparative ethnomethodological’ approach

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Author(s)

Andrew Richard Timming

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Drawing from case study research conducted at a UK-based European works council, this article explores the dynamics of cross-national labour relations using a theoretical framework that the author calls ‘comparative ethnomethodology’. The merging of qualitatively distinct national industrial relations systems into one geographical space is identified as a key social psychological obstacle to labour internationalism. When brought together in a transnational context, workers’ representatives frequently suffer from ‘dissonant cognitions’ in consequence of the absence of commonly constituted ‘background assumptions’. This dynamic is exemplified by the interpersonal relations between the British and Dutch delegations in the case study European works council.The study has implications with respect to the debates on the problems, prospects and possibilities of labour internationalism.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-535
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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