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What triggers the establishment of a works council?

[Jens Mohrenweiser], Paul Marginson and [Uschi Backes-Gellner]
Economic and Industrial Democracy, 33, 2, 295-316

Abstract

This article analyses events that trigger the establishment of a works council and the actor or agent who triggers it. The article extends previous research in two dimensions. First, it examines specific events that motivate workers to establish a works council, such as a change of owner, founding a spin-off, a firm acquisition or a radical restructuring. These events express protection against uncertainty as workers’ primary motivation for establishing a works council. Second, the article analyses the actor or agent who triggers the establishment of a works council and shows that management is involved in one-third of all cases and has, in a minority of cases, motivated workers to establish a works council. Managerial involvement in the process of establishment reveals a positive managerial response to worker representation.