Collective and individual voice: Convergence in Europe?

Chris Brewster, Richard Croucher, Geoff Wood, Michael Brookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses longitudinal survey data from Britain, Germany and Sweden to examine whether, as some researchers have suggested, there has been a convergence internationally towards individual forms of employee voice mechanism and, if so, to measure the extent and trajectory of change. The paper begins by examining the importance of the employee voice issue. It then reviews competing accounts of the utility of different forms of employee voice and their manifestations within different varieties of capitalism. It is hypothesized that there has been a general trend away from collective and towards individual voice mechanisms; this reflects the predominant trajectory of managerial practices towards convergence with the liberal market model. This hypothesis is largely rejected. The data showed only very limited evidence of directional convergence towards individual voice models in the three countries. Collective voice remains significant in larger organizations, and although it takes a wide range of forms that include but go beyond unions and works councils, this is a positive finding for proponents of those institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1262
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Individual voice mechanisms
  • Participation and involvement
  • Regulation theory
  • Varieties of capitalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Collective and individual voice: Convergence in Europe?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this