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Contextualizing Voice and Stakeholders: Researching Employment Relations, Immigration and Trade Unions

Miguel Martínez Lucio and Heather Connolly
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 97, Supplement 1: Mind the Gap (2010), pp. 19-29
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41315814
Page Count: 11
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Contextualizing Voice and Stakeholders: Researching Employment Relations, Immigration and Trade Unions
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Abstract

This article aims to outline some of the ways in which issues of migration and employment relations have been studied in the European context, cross referencing recent interventions in the USA. The argument is a discussion of some of the different dimensions of migration and the way debates within Industrial Relations have been shaped. More specifically, the article will look at the way trade unions have made the ethical turn towards questions of migration and equality. The article will observe the way these issues have been academically framed and the manner in which the 'problem' of migration is conceptualized. It will attempt to provide a framework for discussing the way we have been analysing these issues and the ethical dimensions of these discussions. The relevance of the article is that institutionally responding to migration is not solely a question of adjusting employment relations or Industrial Relations institutions to various 'new' constituencies. The article will show that the topic raises issues as to how we actually understand what the study of employment and especially Industrial Relations are. The article also argues that there is a growing need for researchers to be aware of ethical issues when studying in the area of migration, and to be sensitive to competing voices and methodologies in this area. In particular we need approaches that are multidimensional and that emphasize the history and context of change in social constituencies, the new mechanisms of representation within communities, the role of the political in terms of discourses and resources, and the broad play and spaces of regulation and social policy.

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