Organization and Management Theory OMT

Call for Papers: Representation of interests in (global) production networks

  • 1.  Call for Papers: Representation of interests in (global) production networks

    Posted 02-01-2020 06:46

    Special Issue of Industrielle Beziehungen – The German Journal of Industrial Relations (to be published in 2021)
    Guest eds. Nora Lohmeyer & Jörg Sydow

    Production in interorganizational networks, which often crosses national borders, is usually characterized by complex industrial relations. Part of this complexity is due to the geographical diversification of value creation and the concomitant diversity of institutional contexts, including legal and cultural differences. In addition, the network-typical disintegration of workers and the presence of multiple employers, as well as multiple forms of governance, add to this complexity. These conditions present particular challenges to advocacy in and outside organizations and operations. On the basis of a broad understanding of interest representation, which today more or less includes not only the interests of workers, but also those of other social groups, research and the practice of industrial relations are tasked with the following questions:

    • How can interest representation be organized in (global) production networks in view of these specific conditions? What challenges does it face in terms of geographically diverse production locations and complex employer-employee relations? Do distributed jobs, for example, lead to a loss of shared (work-)experience in the workforce and what approaches are feasible for new (including virtual) spaces to encourage the creation of collective interests? Also, what options exist already for representing interests, given serious and increasing power differences between actors and frequently weak union structures, especially in the so-called "global south"?
    • What (collective) actors play a role alongside traditional partners – especially in global production networks? What forms of cooperation and conflicts arise out of novel actor constellations? What practices can be used to foster cooperation between trade unions and NGOs, for example, that focus not only on labor relations, but also on consumer behavior?
    • What are the options for further developing novel forms of advocacy (such as Worker Participation Committees), given the global spread of neoliberal ideologies which emphasize competition, individualism, and self-regulation? And how do these new forms relate to traditional forms of interest representation and advocacy?
    • How should one assess current policy and (transnational) industrial relations, governance mechanisms, such as global framework agreements (GFAs) and multi-firm transnational industrial relations agreements (TIRAs)? What new approaches are needed and how would these relate to strategic approaches to corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR)?

    Accordingly, contributions are welcome that deal empirically with the structural prerequisites, conditions and barriers to advocacy in (global) production networks, as well as contributions that take account of practices of interest representation and provide examples of "promising practices". Contributions are also very welcome that look at the representation of interests in (global) production networks from a theoretical perspective and develop proposals for appropriate research methods.

    All submissions go through a double-blind review process with two reviewers, as is customary in Industrielle Beziehungen – The German Journal of Industrial Relations. For these (and allied) topics we ask you to submit until April 15, 2020, an abstract of 1-2 pages (max 10,000 characters), including a working title, the research question, the methodical approach, a possibly used data basis as well as a short explanation of the theoretical framework of your work as a PDF or Word file. The full papers are expected to be completed by August 31, 2020. The special issue will be published as issue 2/2021.

    Please send your abstract to: (please use the subject line: "Abstract SP-Heft Interessenvertretung")

    Joerg Sydow
    Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany