Switching Systems: Technological Change, Privatisation and Work Organisation

Darbishire, Owen (1995) Switching Systems: Technological Change, Privatisation and Work Organisation. Industrielle Beziehungen. The German Journal of Industrial Relations, 2 (2). pp. 156-179.


New technology and expanding service capabilities are leading both to substantial competition in the telecommunications industry, and also to the demise of public ownership. The case of Deutsche Telekom illustrates that although public sector status failed to provide sufficient strategic or organisational flexibility in a dynamic market this was less due to the public sector institutions of industrial relations themselves, than to the interaction of institutions with political decisions, which reduced Telekom’s ability to restructure itself in an increasingly competitive environment. Nevertheless, the privatisation of Telekom also highlights the central co-ordinating role of the public sector’s hierarchical Personalräte works council structure. The strategic challenges for unions inherent in the decentralised private sector works council system illuminate the importance of unions providing interworks council co-ordination, in addition to the usually emphasised co-ordination between union and works council—an ability central to unions retaining their influence under conditions of increasing decentralisation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: telecommunications; industrial relations
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2012 14:27
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 11:44
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/4255

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