Culture as grand theory in East Asian employment relations

  • Fry S
  • Mees B
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Considerable emphasis has often been placed on cultural factors in explaining the peculiarities of East Asian employment relations. By comparison with workplace relations in the West, East Asian employment relations are characterized by low rates of unionization and collective bargaining, and a relative absence of industrial disputation. A critique of notions of culture found in employment-relations scholarship is presented which draws on long-established conceptualizations developed in historical, post-colonial, anthropological and cultural studies. Most of the peculiarities of East Asian workplace relations can be adequately accounted for through manners other than invoking a grand theory of culture.

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  • Simon Fry

  • Bernard Mees

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