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The authors examine management whipsawing practices in the European auto industry based on more than 200 interviews and a comparison of three automakers. They identify four distinct ways in which managers stage competition between plants to extract labor concessions: informal, hegemonic, coercive, and rule-based whipsawing. Practices at the three auto firms differed from one another and changed over time because of two factors: structural whipsawing capacity and management labor relations strategy. In the context of economic globalization, whipsawing is an effective means for managers to extract concessions, to loosen national institutional constraints, and to diffuse employment practices internationally.


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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation
Greer, I., & Hauptmeier, M. (2016). Management whipsawing: The staging of labor competition under globalization [Electronic version]. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 69(1), 29-52. doi: 10.1177/0019793915602254