Out now | The outsourcing challenge: organizing workers across fragmented production networks

Production networks in many sectors have become increasingly fragmented. Cutting labour costs by lowering pay, increasing work intensity and/or shifting flexibility costs to workers are just some of the motivations for outsourcing. But it can also be used to circumvent employee representation and collective bargaining systems within companies, and labour market regulations in general. Though such intentions may not drive the bulk of outsourcing decisions, any change in company boundaries is likely to impact employment, working conditions and industrial relations in the value chain.

This book focuses on the dynamics of outsourcing in Europe from the perspective of employees. In particular, it considers one insufficiently studied aspect: the impact of outsourcing on working conditions and employment relations in companies. The book also collects lessons learned from the efforts of employees and trade unions to shape outsourcing decisions, processes and their impact on employment and working conditions.

‘To face the outsourcing challenges unions need to be very strategic about how we organize – how can we leverage our bargaining power and relationships with clients?How can we reach agreements with the key outsourcing companies on workers’ rights?How can we develop innovative organising and bargaining strategies able to overcome the challenges we face? How can we campaign for improved legislation to protect and enhance decent work in contact centres? The papers presented in this volume help tackle these important questions.’
– Alan Tate, UNI Global Union

Handbuch Transformationsforschung

Springer has published a Handbook of transformation research (in German). This is a remarkable interdisciplinary collection that covers research on economic, political, social, legal, and you name it aspects of transformations in a uniquely holistic way. It was definitely worth the wait. Delighted to find myself in a group of a number of eminent scholars that shaped their respective fields.
Our contribution on economic methods can be found here (in German). The English version is available at SSRN.

The politics of flexibility: Employment practices in automotive multinationals in Central and Eastern Europe

The article in European Journal of Industrial Relations that presents results of a research project on flexibility policies in East European car makers is now available as online first. An earlier version is available for free at SSRN.


Transition Economies after 2008: Responses to the crisis in Russia and Eastern Europe

The special issue of Europe-Asia studies on the responses to the crisis after 2008 was published by Routledge in early 2014 as an edited volume Transition Economies after 2008: Responses to the crisis in Russia and Eastern Europe.
The varieties of capitalism argument from our book Transition Economies has been often picked up by people. The book project New Directions in Critical Comparative Capitalisms Research, edited by Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff & Christian May (London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2015), gave us an opportunity to systematize and revise the argument on varieties of capitalism in transition economies. Our chapter can be downloaded here.