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Mentanar- og stovnsávirkan á arbeiðsmarknaðaratferð: Ein samanberandi tvør-mentanarlig greining av Nýfundlandi og Føroyum.
(Cultural and institutional influences on labour relations behaviours: A comparative cross-cultural analysis of N and the FO.)


Búi K. Petersen

Memorial University of Newfoundland


Samlaður kostnaður:
1.218.892 DKK

Stuðul úr Granskingargrunninum:
770.179 DKK

The nature and quality of the relationships between employers, employees and labour unions is an issue of huge importance to society’s economic well-being. Productive and functional labour relations are a common concern for government and stakeholders, and as a result, most countries have institutions, such as labour laws and formalized processes for collective bargaining and dispute resolution, which serve to regulate the interactions and transactions between employers and labour unions. In particular, various measures have been attempted with the aim of decreasing conflict and increasing collaboration. However, even though there has been much similarity in the goals, there is a great variability from country to country in the institutional interventions that have been implemented.

Most research in this field (Industrial Relations) has focussed on the role and effect of the institutions, while only a limited amount of research has included the cultural dimensions, such as people’s tendency to act collectively vs. individually, the tolerance for differences in power, as well as the relative importance of competitiveness vs. relationships. Furthermore, the institutional focus has also resulted in minimal consideration of individual attitudes and behaviour.

The purpose of this project is to examine just this interplay between institutions, culture and individual behaviour. The goal is to eliciting a greater understanding of the relationships between these factors, so that governments and stakeholders will be in a better position to create institutions that have the desired effect.

This project is structured as a comparative study involving the jurisdictions of Newfoundland and the Faroe Islands. These two locations share many characteristics in terms of industrial history (fishing), geographic location (North Atlantic), history of semi-autonomous government, while also being very distinct in terms of cultural history and heritage, as well political and industrial institutions. The combination of these similarities and differences, make the two locations good candidates for a comparative study.

This project will employ a mixed-methods approach – surveys, interviews, institutional analysis – aimed at answering the following research questions: 1) What are the differences in cultural values and beliefs between the two study locations? 2) What differences are there in individuals’ conflict management preferences and to what degree do these correlate with cultural values and beliefs? 3) What are the institutional differences between the two study locations, and to what degree do they represent the industrial relations “norms” of their respective regions, North America and Nordic Europe? 4) How are labour relations behaviours, as experienced by labour relations practitioners, influenced by the cultural and institutional environment?


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