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Do participation structures affect workers’ voice?

Kristin Alsos, Sissel C Trygstad

Economic and Industrial Democracy , 2022

Do participation structures affect workers’ voice?

Forskere på Fafo: Kristin Alsos, Sissel C. Trygstad

Employees’ democratic right to participate is a core element of Nordic labour market models exercised both through representative and indirect participation as well as individual and direct participation. This article analyses representative participation and whether the form it takes matters: Is local trade union representatives’ assessment of influence at company level dependent on whether meetings with management are formal or informal? The question is important because institutional arrangements are on the decline in several European countries. Weaker trade unions and trade union representatives, due to falling unionisation rates, could affect strategic decisions by management when it comes to inviting trade union representatives into decision-making forums. Furthermore, individual-oriented management concepts may be strengthening this trend, in turn challenging the Nordic labour market models at company level. These issues are addressed through power resource perspectives by examining how such resources affect local trade union representatives’ capacity to influence decisions.

Do participation structures affect workers’ voice?