Consultation at Work: Competing Agendas, Differing Expectations

Mark Hall and John Purcell

in Consultation at Work

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605460
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746062 | DOI:
Consultation at Work: Competing Agendas, Differing Expectations

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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

Chapter.  10262 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management

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