The increased integration of the global economy due to greater free trade, vastly improved logistic and communication technology, mobile finance capital, transnational corporations and global production networks has had a major impact on work, employment and distribution of income all over the world. Has work uniformly been intensified, employment casualised and distribution become more unequal, or are there countervailing trends?  What forms of transnationalism are emerging and how do they compare with traditional international trade unionism? The World Congress invites contributions from countries in every region of the world to explicate developments in their countries and regions.

Employment relations is understood to embrace both industrial relations and human resource management. These differ greatly between countries and regions because of their differing histories, institutions, corporate strategies, and varieties of capitalism. The World Congress hopes to solicit contributions that indicate the latest trends in collective bargaining, trade union strength, working conditions, industrial conflict, human resource management and skills development in different countries and regions. We are also keen to receive papers that examine whether theories of employment relations and human resource management in industrially advanced countries hold for emerging and developing countries.

Sub-themes to be covered in the papers include:

  • The changing nature of work and employment and the reasons for it
  • Collective bargaining decentralisation and decline: the reasons thereof and why it is not universal
  • The role of trade unions around the globe: decline, revival, or reinvention?
  • How industrial conflict, both protected and unprotected, is manifesting itself around the world and strategies for managing industrial conflict, including the role of social pacts
  • Moving beyond the convergent/divergent human resource management debate towards an overarching theoretical framework that incorporates the commonalities and differences in HRM in industrialised, emerging and developing countries
  • Human resource development – the critical need for more skilled labour around the world
  • Employment strategies and working conditions of transnational corporations (TNCs) in different countries
  • The effect of global supply chains on wages, profitability and workers' voice in the supply chain
  • The consequences of the World Trade Organisation's free trade policy on employment and working conditions: those who gain and those who lose
  • The impact of major financial crises on employment and the distribution of income
  • The impact of global competitiveness on ER (Employment Relations)