The Strange Non-Death of Employer and Business Associations: The Development and Transformation of Employer and Business Associations in Europe

Friday, 3 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW2.3.02 (Tower Two)
Bernd Brandl, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Alex Lehr, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
The representativeness of employer and business associations is challenged by the long-term socio-economic development and by short-term economic setbacks even though it is of central importance to enforce the needs of companies. Using a cross-national approach, the authors investigate how employer and business associations faced these challenges. The authors argue that these socio-economic changes have also offered opportunities. The results show that by adapting the organizational structure as well as their activities to the changing needs of companies, representativeness can be secured. This is done in particular, by shifting activities away from engaging in binding collective wage-agreements and more towards non-wage agreements and involvement in training and active labor market programs.