Employee Participation in Europe covers both the internal dynamics of workplace participation within individual European nations and the transnational policies and problems of participation at the European Union level. Combining historical, sociological, and comparative analysis, the author presents an understanding of participation's role in contemporary industrial relations. Knudsen shows how participation--while widely approved as an ideal--involves varying interests and rationales on the actors involved: employees and governments. The ways in which participation has been introduced and the differences in its practice are illustrated by detailed analysis of participatory institutions in Germany, the UK, Spain, and Denmark. This comparative approach clarifies the ways in which participation is embedded in national industrial relations systems and cultures. The author also addresses two major influences on the changing context of participation in contemporary industrial relations: the European Union and the growing importance of information technology. This broad-ranging review will be essential reading for all scholars of industrial relations, human resource management, sociology of work and employment, and related disciplines.
The European Union
Conclusions and Perspectives