Industrial relations in West Germany: The operation of a works council in a predominantly white-collar small organisation in West Germany

Quayle, Michael R (1985) Industrial relations in West Germany: The operation of a works council in a predominantly white-collar small organisation in West Germany. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis describes the operation of a Works Council after initially reviewing the concept of co-determination and existing literature. It details the Company in which the study took place over a thirty month period and is written by a former Works Councillor employed by that Company. It is not, therefore, a pure academic study of a controlled experiment written by an academic; the great expansion of research into West German industrial relations particularly after the 1972 Labour Management Relations Act and 1976 Co-determination Act appears to have missed out the operation of Works Councils and concentrated on worker directors and the subsequent effect on them caused by the legislation. This study aims to fill the gap. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 respectively concentrate on problems encountered by the Works Council and employer in the areas of unequal treatment, grievances and job evaluation/performance appraisal. Each area encompasses the relevant articles of the legislation and their interrelated difficulties; emphasis is placed not only on the facts and the problems but on eventual solutions - if any - and how the system was, or was not, able to cope with them. In addition to describing issues and how they were handled by both Works Council and Management, I have tried to emphasise how Management tries to keep all activity within a largely inflexible legislative framework. Few, if any, studies exist that have been carried out or written by participants in the Works Council system (see Chapter 2). In particular there is a distinct lack of material written by Works Councillors in the white collar sector of smaller organisations with a multi-national background. Using for reference the International Labour Organisation translation of the 1972 L. M. R. A. under which the Works Council operation was governed, this thesis is the unique experience of an Englishman elected to two successive terms of office as a Works Councillor the second as Deputy Chairman of the Works Council. The results of the study may lead to a revision of the general conclusions about the Works Council system, particularly as a system of management accountability, a basis of employee involvement and participation as well as a major influence on co-operation and low levels of conflict; it may also provide realistic guidance as to whether the system is initiating or simply reactive, and whether a Works Council can be a stand alone body rather than simply part of a complex system. The reader is, therefore, invited to approach this study as the author has done - a new product.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Labor relations, Economic history
Date of Award: 1985
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1985-76576
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:07
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:07

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