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The decay and revival of sub-UK employer organisation: a response to Dr. Ritson

Gooberman, Leon ORCID:, Hauptmeier, Marco ORCID: and Heery, Edmund ORCID: 2020. The decay and revival of sub-UK employer organisation: a response to Dr. Ritson. Labor History 61 (5-6) , pp. 417-422. 10.1080/0023656X.2020.1830958

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Dr Ritson published an article in this journal on Employer Associations (EAs) in the UK. He set out a case study of a sub-UK EA within the Engineering Employers’ Federation before criticising an article we published on countervailing power in the Human Resources Management Journal. Dr Ritson argues that we misunderstand the structures and roles of EAs, and that as a result our argument on countervailing power was misguided. We do not accept this critique, as he misread our empirical findings and misunderstood our arguments within the first period we examine, from the 1960s to 1979. Dr Ritson also criticized our arguments within our second period, from 1979 to 2016. But he does not have sufficient data to either substantiate his critique or develop an alternative argument. Such gaps prompt the question: what happened to sub-UK employer organisation after 1984? We argue that sub-UK EAs of the type analysed by Dr Ritson were marginalised by the decline of collective industrial relations. But a partial rejuvenation took place after 1999 as employers organised to countervail the power of devolved parliaments and assemblies, although revival was narrowly focussed and very different to the previous pattern.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0023-656X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 25 September 2020
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 16:35

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