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(Re)assessing the shifting contours of Britain's collective industrial relations

Paul Marginson
Industrial Relations Journal, 43, 4, 332-47


William Brown's formidable contribution to Britain's internationally recognised industrial relations survey tradition is appraised. In interpretations of the findings of successive workplace surveys Brown has provided an evolving analysis of the retreat of collective bargaining in the private sector. His explanation for this decline places changing conditions in product markets, including intensification and internationalisation of competition, centre stage. An alternative account is offered, which brings the role of actors and institutions to the fore.