By Alan Jenkins

Thisbook is the fruit of a couple of years of assimilating one other tradition and studying in regards to the evolution of its associations, altogether an incr- iblyrich andrewarding adventure. Ihopetopassonto the reader a few of that richness within the trust that, even in a “globalizing” context, studying approximately different countries and cultures is increasingly more beneficial. the explanations andvalues in the back of this trust are probably evident,but I amconvincedthat they undergo repeating right here. to start with, the hasty generalizations that regularly liebehind the cynicism—and finally the violence—of ethnocentrism and xe- phobia are nonetheless being aired this day and nonetheless must be fought, even in “unified and complex” areas of the area like Europe and the U.S.. The ancient and social sciences disciplines have to be solicited regularly during this strive against, although they themselves are terrains of controversy and contestation. i myself haven't misplaced religion of their “progressive” power and personality. moment, my trust is that basically via this technique of attract those disciplines and their findings do we face up to a perilous modern slide into simplisticand sensation- ist images of the world—viewpoints usually linked to an implicit assumption that social and fiscal swap are linear approaches, so- how unfolding in keeping with an analogous neat “logic” anywhere they're at work.

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This is almost impossible to assess precisely—more evidence and analysis are still needed at both enterprise and sector level on the forms of persistence and the effects of worker participation. Data about the long-term effects of experimentation in specific companies does exist but about far too few firms—at least for the period with which we have been dealing—to be representative. Very often, the same innovators recur in French discussions—the car giants, The Reform of Work in France 37 their suppliers, consumer electronics firms, and others like BSN (now Danone) famous for substantial investments in workplace innovation.

3. THE AUROUX LAWS OF 1982 The decade of the 1980s opened with the victory of the Socialist FrançoisMitterand in the Presidential elections after years of rule from the right. Thus began what has been called the “left’s apprenticeship for governing” (McCormick, 1985). However, as clarified earlier, the 1982 Auroux program of legislation was the fruit of a decade of legislative and negotiating effort aimed at the gradual reform of work and industrial relations. Changes in management practice were not, of course, simply “pushed” by this dynamic; a reciprocal interaction between management innovations and institutional changes was more evident—a tension, a dialectic.

But much was also said about the difficult problem of producing “successful” participative procedures in varying organizational cultures (recognizing that “success” means different things to different groups) and structures of authority. , by engineers in the plant) or actually ignored, to the surprise of participants. This recalls the apprehension by managers about groups of workers “trespassing” on their domain noted by Chevalier. Yet at the same time, Martin seems to avoid the pessimism of Chanaron about the promise of managementguided participation.

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