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From welfare to profit: the transformation of a trade union-owned firm

Darr, A. and Warhurst, C. (2006) From welfare to profit: the transformation of a trade union-owned firm. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 27 (2). pp. 285-309. ISSN 0143-831X

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Abstract

This article focuses on a trade union-owned commercial vehicle assembler operating in Israel since the mid-20th century. The article analyses the transformation of the case study firm's management, employment and work organization, the outcome of which is a firm concerned with profit, not employee welfare, as it was initially. The article explores how and why this transformation occurred. Secondary and primary data research is used in the analysis, consisting of archival and interview data respectively. This analysis reveals three distinct periods in the transformation, with an old firm, a transitional firm and a new firm. The research indicates that these periods correlate to the changes of political economy and institutional configurations within which the case study firm is embedded, suggesting that such embeddedness is a key issue for the firm and its orientation to welfare or profit.