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Title: Globalisation, convergence and the McDonald's Corporation : industrial relations and the multi-national enterprise in Germany and the UK : a comparative study
Author: Royle, Tony
ISNI:       0000 0001 3539 0916
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis is based on a qualitative case study which examines the employment practices of one American multi-national enterprise the McDonald's Corporation and its operations in two European countries; Germany and the UK. The study examines the concepts of globalisation and convergence which are concerned with broadly similar trends; are societies and more specifically, the way organisations work, becoming more alike across the globe? McDonald's is well known for the standardisation of its products, but does this extend to its employment practices? Can such large organisations maintain the uniformity of their employment practices across diverse societal cultures? The study suggests that McDonald's has to a large extent been able to operate independently of the societal frameworks in which it operates. Despite the corporation's large proportion of franchise operations and its decentralised structure for example, it retains extremely tight control over its operations. Although industrial relations and education and training systems in the two countries are very different McDonald's has maintained the uniformity of its operations. For 20 years the corporation successfully avoided collective agreements which are the norm for such large organisations in Germany. McDonald's has also minimised union involvement in its operations in both countries, but most significantly, it has largely avoided the German system of co-determination. The study also examines the possible motives behind the corporation's establishment of a European Works Council. The thesis considers the implications of this analysis for the stability of the German model and for European industrial relations as a whole. The thesis concludes that `globalisation' can be seen as a complex mixture of globalising and homogenising trends, but that it is in the sphere of 'culture' in which the process is most advanced. The notion of a straightforward convergence of global 'work practices' is problematic, however. This study nevertheless suggests that there is evidence for a particular kind of 'convergence'; one which involves a general 'weakening' of societal institutions due to a growing pressure for a more deregulated approach to labour regulation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies