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Overcoming the risks of restructuring through the integrative bargaining process: Two case studies in a French context

Abstract : In this paper we analyse two French restructuring cases, using Walton and McKersie's theoretical framework, and provide evidence of the potential of integrative bargaining in restructuring. We argue that any restructuring situation, even in an unfavourable context such as the French, displays an integrative potential, in that employers' and employees' risks are closely interrelated and these risks can be successfully addressed in a cooperative way. The two cases are from widely contrasting contexts: a medium-sized firm in the declining textile industry, and a large insurance company with no short-term economic threat. We show to what extent the underlying bargaining processes are illustrative of an integrative approach as defined by Walton and McKersie and that such an approach may prevail in different kinds of situation, decline-related as well as competition-enhancing restructurings. Moreover, in reference with the four sub-processes developed in the Walton and MacKersie's model, we analyse how and under which conditions an integrative approach can be achieved. Finally, we discuss theoretical implications concerning the application of this model to restructuring processes.
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Pierre Garaudel, Florent Noël, Géraldine Schmidt. Overcoming the risks of restructuring through the integrative bargaining process: Two case studies in a French context. Human Relations, SAGE Publications, 2008, 61 (9), pp.1293-1331. ⟨10.1177/0018726708094913⟩. ⟨hal-02441292⟩

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