Against the backdrop of the neo-institutionalist and national business systems approaches to the global-local question in international management, this paper discusses the implications of the rise of CSR in continental Europe for HRM and employee representation. Europe is undoubtedly subject to convergence processes, not least through the emergence of global CSR tools, yet the influence of national business systems remains visible too, as European companies tend to foreground different aspects of CSR to Anglo-American ones. Both HR managers and employee representatives are jostling for positions to shape the resulting adaptation processes. This situation highlights not only the importance of first-mover advantages in such a contested terrain but also the need for both HRM and employee representatives to gain internal legitimacy before being able to play an active role in CSR.
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