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Consultation at WorkRegulation and Practice$
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Mark Hall and John Purcell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605460.001.0001

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Consultation at Work: Competing Agendas, Differing Expectations

Consultation at Work: Competing Agendas, Differing Expectations

(p.1) 1 Consultation at Work: Competing Agendas, Differing Expectations
Consultation at Work

Mark Hall

John Purcell

Oxford University Press

The different meanings of collective consultation between senior managers and employee representatives are explored. Historical analysis shows early examples of consultation used as a substitute for trade unions and union ambivalence. The rapid growth of consultation in both World Wars is not sustained with the outbreak of peace. Successive governments miss the opportunity to legislate while unions fear losing control to shop stewards in Joint Production Committees. Consultation declines in the 1950s and 1960s as workplace collective bargaining grows. For different reasons, both unions and employers fear the other will use consultation as a ‘Trojan horse’. There is growth in consultation in the 1970s in response to EU and government initiatives. Employers begin to emphasize direct involvement and communication, and the practice of consultation declines.

Keywords:   meanings, history, union ambivalence, legislation, decline, collective bargaining, government initiatives, involvement, communication

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