A capability approach to restructuring processes: Lessons from a Swiss and a French case study

TitreA capability approach to restructuring processes: Lessons from a Swiss and a French case study
Type de publicationJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuteursBonvin, J-M, Dif-Pradalier, M, Moachon, E
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Mots-cléscapabilities, France, labour law, restructuring, Switzerland, trade unions, voice

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine to what extent and under which conditions restructuring processes allow workers to effectively voice their concerns, with a view to influencing the restructuring logic and transforming its outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – In-depth case studies with semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis and a survey, all conducted at firm-level (taking also into account the impact of the European Workers’ Council when relevant). Findings – Both settings (be it the Swiss flexible labour law and collective labour agreements or the protective professional status enjoyed by the French workers) do not guarantee the enhancement of workers’ capability set in restructuring processes. Whatever the entitlements and the cognitive and political resources available to the workers, two conditions are crucial to enhancing their capability for work and for voice: workers’ ability to re-build collectives; and an adequate regulatory framework imposing on employers and shareholders the duty to negotiate. Originality/value – The paper suggests another way of assessing restructuring processes and outcomes based on the capability approach, and demonstrates its greater relevance compared to economic or managerialist views of restructuring, based on efficiency and profitability.

Refereed DesignationRefereed