Personnel management policies for workplace restructuring and their implications for industrial relations: A case in Korea from a comparative perspective

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This study illuminates and analyses the main features of personnel management (henceforth PM) policies for workplace restructuring in Korean manufacturing firms during the 1990s and their implications for industrial relations at the enterprise level. According to national data on the recent evolution of enterprise bargaining agreements, popular PM policies took the forms of numerical and financial flexibility, while union intervention in implementing those policies was low. Other firm-level data in this study showed that those PM policies have reduced the organizational and bargaining power of enterprise unions by threatening employment security. Those distinct features of PM policies are closely related to other elements of corporate management as well as to the distinct stage of union growth. Those specific characteristics in both corporate management and union growth have been shaped by distinct economic, political, legal, social and cultural environments prevailing in Korea over the last four decades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Feb



  • Enterprise unions
  • Human resource management
  • Industrial relations
  • Korea
  • Personnel management
  • Workplace restructuring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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