Reconceptualising employer associations under evolving employment relations: countervailing power revisited
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The decline of institutional industrial relations has led to a major reassessment of the way that traditional industrial relations actors operate. Yet, the debate about institutional change has been characteristically asymmetrical in as much as some institutional actors have figured extensively while others have been much less prominent. Historically, employer coordination has not captured the attention of the industrial relations community and there are relatively few contemporary studies of the activities of employer associations. The purpose of this article is to review and critique the literature on employer associations and explain how the traditional concept of countervailing power can be developed to reconceptualise employer coordination. We then argue for a research agenda to re-examine employer associations in light of ongoing changes to employment relations systems that require these bodies to revise the ways that they coordinate employer interests.
Work, Employment and Society
© 2011 The Authors. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.