The paper 'German System of Employment Relations " is a good example of a business research paper. Industrial relations in Germany is generally lagging behind when compared with those of Great Britain and the USA and this analogy holds true for all corporations of different sizes and classes. Furthermore, a good number of German existing investigations and studies are aimed at huge multilateral firms where worker representation organizational structures are compulsory by law (Kotthoff & Reindl, 1990). Hence the main purpose of this paper is to evaluate the system of employment relations in Germany and the main issues to be discussed involve changes that have already taken place within the German system of employment relations since 1989.
This paper would also discuss the historical and the contemporary background to the German system of employment relations, the role of the state in the German system of employment relations, the role of collective bargaining, the role of the works council, the role of national, industry, and enterprise bargaining in the German system of employment relations. This paper would outline the role of unions and those of employers in the German system of employment relations.
it would also discuss the future direction of the German system of employment relations. Employment relations in medium-sized and small organizations remain almost unexplored in Germany according to expert studies. This is because industrial laws of Germany only require corporations with only more than six workers to deal with forms of employee representation hence little attention is given to micro firms since there are no dedicated studies for this category of firms. Contemporary background The federal republic of Germany system of industrial relations presents an interesting contrast to both Japanese and American systems.
The main features of the German industrial system are the presence of formal structures used for employee representation in the decision making processes of the management, presence of industry-wide collective bargaining and industrial unions system and also the presence of close integration of formal training and education with firm practices of human resource management. Few German institution scholars have emphasized the culture centrality as compared to others like those from Japan when characterizing industrial relations in Germany. Instead, they have focused their attention on organizational structures and legal frameworks that have been created in the aftermath of the world wars 1 and 2. Collective representation Collective representation in German enterprises is regulated by the German industrial law and particularly the “ Betriebsverfassungsgesetz” and entails the assignment of all tasks that relate to employee participation and representation to works councils referred to as “ Betriebsrate” .
While enterprises with less than twenty but more than five workers are permitted to elect a works chief “ Betriebsobmann” to act as an employee representative. The larger firms are allowed to introduce works councils made up of several members.
The “ Betriebsverfassungsgesetz” normally don’ t involve the possibility of a works chief or a works council which is law protected for firms with employees less than five. Works councils In large enterprises, works councils are common but not in Small and Medium Enterprises, and it is indicated by investigations by Hilbert 19-90, p. 178, that two-thirds of the SMEs do not have a works council. When this category is differentiated into small, entailing those with employees between 3 and 50 and medium-sized firms being those with between 51 and 500 workers, hence extreme results were reported, even more, revealing that less than 9% of the small firms have established councils of works while in the case of medium-sized organizations, this only amounts to 70%.
Therefore Wassermann believes that the small firms share with regards to the council of works has plummeted more and more in the recent past and could be less than 3% for firms with less than 19 workers in the year 1999 ( Wassermann, 1992 ).
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