Event Date: 

03/19/15 to 03/20/15

Location name: 

Modena, Italy


Marco Biagi Foundation

The Marco Biagi Foundation invites international researchers in the disciplines of law, economics, organisational theory and sociology to contribute to this analysis, presenting papers focusing in particular on one of the following tracks:

1) Organisational structure of the enterprise and the fragmentation of the employer’s role and responsibilities

This strand is intended for papers casting light on the new organisational structures of the enterprise (networks, supply chains, value chains and the like), on the organisational and economic assumptions and implications of the arrangements shaping relations among the actors, on their legal status and their impact on the functioning of the global economy, and on the legal framework that such arrangements rely on. Particular attention will be devoted to papers focusing on the geographical allocation of labour and production processes on an international and global scale and on the subsequent employment-related problems, in terms of protection for workers in the weakest links of the production chains and networks. Papers examining measures taken to solve these problems, or proposing original and innovative solutions, will be particularly welcome.

2) Employment relations in ‘special’ enterprises

This strand concerns papers analysing “special” enterprises, intended as those firms, such as cooperative or social enterprises, whose assumptions, functioning and regulatory framework follow patterns differing from common, purely market-based firms. One of the aims is to compare the legal regulation and the organizational and managerial practices of such enterprises, especially with regard to their impact on employment relations, with the performance of market-based enterprises. Particular consideration will be given to papers suggesting how to ascertain the ability of these special entrepreneurial models to adopt original responses to the recession, and considering the extent to which these models can be exported from their original environment without being detrimental to workers’ rights and interests.

3) Small and medium-sized enterprises in a global context: relations, interests, protection

This strand will include papers examining the different configurations and dimensional characteristics of economic operations and activities in the different regions of the world, in order to understand in a comparative perspective the specific problems shared by companies according to their dimensions, as far as employments relations are concerned. Papers that will be particularly welcome are those that focus on problems relating to economic and contractual power imbalances among economic entities within the same business network as well as on the contractual and legal measures adopted to tackle such problems, providing protection by means of market and social security regulations, and contractual arrangements for workers in SMEs with relations with powerful companies, as well as small for entrepreneurs and independent contractors.
4) Collective solidarity and the representation of interests in the context of recent developments in regulatory provisions and the dematerialisation of the enterprise
This strand will include papers dealing with problems relating to workers’ and employers’ representation in a context that favours the progressive decentralization of industrial relations systems. Reflections on the development of the regulatory systems in this respect, at all levels (domestic, international, transnational), will be particularly welcome, as well as papers that seek to understand the strategies and techniques adopted by the actors in order to cope with current challenges, such as the decline in union density, the rise of new competitors on the union front and the strengthening of private regulatory fora concerning MNCs. This strand will also be open to reflections on the problem of workers’ voice in segmented labour markets, in relation to the limited presence or the absence of trade unions in SMEs and the weakest links in the value chain. Organisational, mobilisation and networking strategies adopted by unions to counter the trend towards the individualisation of interests and the decline in solidarity among workers will be a particular focus within this research strand.

Participants who intend to contribute a paper to one of the conference sessions should submit an abstract (maximum 1500 words) no later than 31 October 2014, and fill in the form that will be made available from September 2014 on the Marco Biagi Foundation website:
Abstracts should include an indication of the related track. However, the Academic Advisory Board reserves the right to assign papers to the track they consider to be most appropriate.
Abstracts and papers may be submitted either in English or in Italian.