Heinz Josef TÜSELMANN
International Business Unit
Metropolitan University The Business School
The article examines whether German multinational companies operating in Anglo – Saxon setting are exporting their country – of – origin emphasis on a collective approach to employee relations to their subsidiaries, or whether there is evidence that employee relations in German multinational are converging towards the Anglo – Saxon individualistic approach. The article is based on representative survey of German subsidiaries in the UK, their parent companies and a comparative analysis to a matched sample of British owned firms. The study reveals significant country – of – origin effects. However, there are also indications that German subsidiaries are developing comprehensive HRM style direct employee involvement schemes, though in complementary, rather than subsitutional manner to collective employee relations. In light of the current decentralisation process in the German industrial relations system and possible feedback effects from their UK affiliates onto employee relations at the multinationals German locations, emerging pattern in German multinationals maybe described as a flexible collective approach with a HRM dimension. The article suggests that there are few grounds to assume a convergence of the German employee relations approach towards the Anglo –Saxon one, despite the insertion of Anglo – Saxon style HRM elements.
KEY WORDS: German subsidiaries in the UK, employee relations, Anglo – Saxon style HRM.