This article looks at the institutional-level negotiations and configurations between a ‘newcomer’ multinational, the trade union and the association of employers. Developing a relational approach based on Actor Network Theory, the article goes beyond the currently used convergence and divergence perspectives by looking at the effect of MNCs on human resource and industrial relations systems as a process of re-organizing identities and power positions of the actors. A qualitative study on the case of the entry of the first international company (Lidl) into the Finnish food-retailing sector suggests that an international company tends to become positioned as an authorial representative of the global market forces, superior to the national actors. A closer analysis reveals, however, that the trade union is granted with some strategic discretion in the emerging actor network whereas the association of employers appears as the least powerful actor in the evolving configuration. At a general level, the analysis of the Finnish case underlines the importance of examining the MNC effect from a theoretical perspective that pays full attention to the complexities and particulars of the process. Implications for internationally oriented human resource management and industrial relations research are discussed.
|Journal||International Journal of Human Resource Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|