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Title: Trade union responses to diversity management in France, Sweden and Germany
Author: Stringfellow, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 5596
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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‘Diversity management’ (DM) has come to dominate human resource equality policies in Anglo-Saxon and many EU countries. However, analysis of trade union responses to DM in continental Europe is strikingly underdeveloped, although there is good reason to suspect that unions may play some role in shaping DM due to their institutionalised roles in issues of equality. This thesis has shown that unions’ influence over DM and their responses to it vary by country, but in ways that are not generally expected. Using a qualitative research design based on documentary data analysis and semistructured interviews and a discursive institutionalism (DI) approach, the study compares how DM has been presented in France, Germany and Sweden, and how this affects the extent of social dialogue on DM and union responses to it. It examines unions’ influence on diversity discourses and the implications of these responses for equality agendas. The research has contributed to knowledge and theory of DM and to the field of industrial relations by: applying the recursive DI approach to analysing how national contexts shape DM and vice versa; by combining theories of institutionalisation with Gumbrell-McCormick and Hyman’s (2013) conceptualisation of types of trade union power to reveal models of underlying mechanisms for when, where and why a social dialogue approach to DM is more likely; by analysing the impact of a social dialogue approach on DM; by providing empirical evidence for Gumbrell-McCormick and Hyman’s (2013) proposition that moral and discursive power, rather than structural, associational, organisational and institutional strength, are more important for unions in the ‘battle of ideas’. The research also demonstrates the value of the DI concepts of actors’ ‘background ideational’ and ‘foreground discursive’ abilities for critically evaluating unions’ responses to diversity management in a manner which seeks to avoid both ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor