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From Workers Self-Management to Global Workforce Management: Extended Case Study of the Transnational Steel Company, Arcelor Mittal in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Abstract

The project aims to explore the impact of foreign direct investments (FDI) on employment and human resource management practices, new organizational ethnic hierarchies, industrial relations and local communities in different national contexts. The focus is on acquisitions by multinational companies (MNCs) from emerging economies in the post-communist region of former Yugoslavia. The research is situated at the forefront of the research on globalization, migration, global workforce management and the local and transnational challenges to corporate power. An extended case study investigates the acquisition of the Bosnian Steel company by Indian Mittal Steel and its impact on industrial relations, labour standards and management practices, including Indian management relationships with the state, local management, trade unions and local community. The project is developed in collaboration with the Management School, Sheffield University. It also engages Professor Jacklyn Cock, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, planning a joint comparative study of ArcelorMittal in South Africa and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Keywords:

Ethnicity, Industrial relations, Transnational, Corporate management, Globalisation

Description

The project aims to explore the impact of foreign direct investments (FDI) on employment and human resource management practices, new organizational ethnic hierarchies, industrial relations and local communities in different national contexts. The focus is on acquisitions by multinational companies (MNCs) from emerging economies in the post-communist region of former Yugoslavia. The research is situated at the forefront of the research on globalization, migration, global workforce management and the local and transnational challenges to corporate power. An extended case study investigates the acquisition of the Bosnian Steel company by Indian Mittal Steel and its impact on industrial relations, labour standards and management practices, including Indian management relationships with the state, local management, trade unions and local community. The project is developed in collaboration with the Management School, Sheffield University. It also engages Professor Jacklyn Cock, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, planning a joint comparative study of ArcelorMittal in South Africa and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The research is executed using a range of local-level, ethnographic and discursive methodologies, archival work, media and secondary literature review, interviews with journalists, management, trade unions representatives (local and national) and government representatives.

The main contribution to research is both theoretical and empirical. Theoretically, the project develops a concept of dual human recource management, focused on a division between management of high-skilled trans-national workforce and a low-skilled local workforce that reflects new ethnic segmentation of internal labour markets along the production chain within MNCs. Empirically, our preliminary results have demonstrated ethnic hierarchies of the management organization that is dominated by Indian managers. There is a failure to integrate in the local community, the lack of respect for local management experience, as well as for previous practices of meeting safety and environmental standards. However, the research has identified that even the most powerful multinationals have to recognize the EU as a norm-setter for the promotion of labour standards and decent work agenda and meet global demands to promote corporate social responsibility CSR. Thanks to EU conditionality and acquisition of the Luxemburg company, Arcelor, which has implied a change in corporate culture, ArcelorMittal has embraced CSR and accepted social dialogue, but only after strong international pressures. Further research is needed to explore this venture in different national and changing transnational contexts.

Publications

Slavnic, Z., Likic-Brboric, B., Nadin, S., & Williams, C. C. (2013). From Workers' Self-management in Socialism to Trade Unions Marginalization in "Wild Capitalism": A Case Study of ArcelorMittal in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Revija za sociologiju / Sociological review, 43(1), 31-55. doi: 10.5613/rzs.43.1.2

2010 - 2017

Funding

FAS/FORTE Research environment funding

REMESO Project Leader

Branka Likic-Brboric, Associate Professor (biträdande professor)

Scientifically Responsible

Zoran Slavnic, Associate Professor (biträdande professor)

Participants from REMESO

Carl-Ulrik Schierup

Participants not from REMESO

  • Colin Williams, Management School, Sheffield University, Great Britain
  • Jacklyn Cock, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa,
  • Sara Nadin, Management School, Shefield University, Great Britain

Contact for project

zoran.slavnic@liu.se


Last updated: 2014-06-05



Page responsible: erik.berggren@liu.se
Last updated: 2017-03-24