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Managers on balancing employment protection and what’s good for the company: Intended and unintended consequences of a semi-coercive institution
Artikel (in press)Publikation
Stern, C. & Weidenstedt, L.
Publiceringsår

2021

Sammanfattning

Sweden’s institutionalized employment protection legislation, ‘LAS’, is interesting theoretically because parts of it are semi-coercive. The semi-coerciveness makes it possible for firms and unions under collective agreements to negotiate departures from the law. Thus, the law is more flexible than the legal text suggests. The present study explores intended and unintended consequences of LAS as experienced by managers of smaller manufacturing companies. The results suggest that managers support the idea of employment protection in principle but face a difficult balancing act in dealing with LAS. From their point of view, the legislation’s institutional legitimacy is low, producing local cultures of hypocrisy and pretense. The article gives insights into how institutions aimed at specific, intended behavior sometimes end up producing unintended consequences fostering the opposite.

Working Paper No. 333: Balancing employment protection and what’s good for the company
Working paperPublikation
Stern, C. & Weidenstedt, L.
Publiceringsår

2020

Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper

Sammanfattning

Like most developed countries, Sweden has institutionalized employment protection legislation, called LAS. LAS is interesting theoretically because parts of it are semi-coercive. The semi-coerciveness makes it possible for firms and unions under collective agreements to negotiate departures from the law, for instance regarding seniority rules and terminations due to employees’ fit and/or misconduct. In this sense, the law is more flexible than the legal text suggests. The present study explores how the semi-coercive institution of employment protection is perceived and implemented by managers of smaller manufacturing companies. The results suggest that managers support the idea of employment protection rules in principle but face a difficult balancing act in dealing with LAS. Thus, the institutional legitimacy of the law is low. LAS ends up producing local cultures of hypocrisy and pretense. The paper gives insights into how institutions aimed at producing good moral behavior sometimes end up producing the opposite.

Ratio Working Paper No. 337 Wage Setting as a Discovery Process
Working paperPublikation
Stern, C.
Publiceringsår

2020

Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper

Sammanfattning

Local wage setting is when companies in their collective agreements with unions formulate local rules for determining wage increase criteria, in contrast to central wage setting where the industry agreement specify the rules for all companies covered. HR-managers should promote local wage practices more than they currently do. I identify reasons behind HR-managers (and unions) skepticism towards local wage practices and go on to argue that in the end a local wage practice will be better organizational-practice because it will develop organization specific knowledge and this will promote discovery and develop organizational integrity. Hence, HR-managers should embrace local wage practices because it is good for the organization, although it means more work and higher demands on the managers themselves. The social outcome of local wage practices is that firm-specific explorations in HR-management schemes is HR-intrapreneurship which in combination with competition is likely to foster inter-organizational learning and stronger firms.

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