International and Comparative Perspectives on Employee Participation

Nick Wailes and Russell D. Lansbury

in The Oxford Handbook of Participation in Organizations

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199207268
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191584817 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

International and Comparative Perspectives on Employee Participation

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  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Ethics


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This article seeks to modify and extend the Varieties of Capitalism (VofC) approach in a way that makes it possible for it to account for both within country diversity and the role which international factors play in shaping national patterns of participation. It does so by drawing on recent debates about the VofC approach in general and comparative corporate governance in particular. Both these literatures suggest the need for VofC analysis to adopt a less deterministic view of the role that institutions play in shaping social action, to focus more on the role of agency and interests, and to suggest the need to explore the interconnections between countries in more detail. The article uses this modified VofC framework to examine the extent to which it can help explain recent developments in two countries: the United Kingdom and Germany. It concludes by outlining suggestions for further research.

Keywords: Varieties of Capitalism; country diversity; participation; corporate governance; social action; VofC framework

Article.  8610 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Business Ethics

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