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The employment practices of multinational corporat

The employment practices of multinational corporations: distinctive, desirable, devilish?

The University of Auckland Business School this Friday hosts a mini-conference focused on the employment practices of multinational corporations.

The actions of multinationals affect all sectors of society. Research and analysis that adds to the understanding of their employment practices is therefore of great relevance.

Open to public and media, the mini-conference features two leading overseas experts in the field - Dr Tony Edwards (University of London) and Professor William Cooke (Wayne State University, Detroit) - alongside the Business School's Professor Nigel Haworth.

The event is part of the Business School's ongoing efforts to inform and educate students, the business community, and the wider public, on issues relevant to the nation's economic well being. The School is aiming to become a truly world-class centre of excellence, and is in the midst of a $110 million expansion involving new facilities, the introduction of new programmes and the continued recruitment of top-class staff.

The speakers, and their topics:

* Dr Tony Edwards, King's College, University of London The employment philosophies and practices of US multinationals

Dr Edwards' research, focused on the management of people in multinational companies, has been widely published. He will provide a broad overview of his research into human resources practices of US multinationals, exploring some of the key aspects of the US business system that shape their orientation and management style. These include their attitudes to shareholders' interests and their accompanying suspicion of European structures promoting employees' interests, the way they manage their workforces across borders, and their employment practices.

* Professor William Cooke, Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues, College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit. Shifting the balance of power: transnational collective bargaining in an era of corporate globalisation?

Professor Cooke has taught, and been a visiting scholar, at some of the United States' most prestigious universities, including Michigan, Purdue, Cornell and Berkeley. As well as being widely published in professional journals, he is the author of several books, and the editor of "Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies."

His work focuses on multinational companies and their foreign investment and global human resource/collective bargaining strategies, work team systems, union- management cooperation and union organising.

He has also consulted to a wide range of companies and unions regarding domestic and global collective bargaining strategies, work team systems and contract negotiations.

* Professor Nigel Haworth, University of Auckland Business School International political economy and industrial relations

Dr Haworth, Professor of Human Resource Development, has specialised since the 1970s on labour in the global economy. He believes the opportunities for organised labour in terms of its political and bargaining influences on the global stage are improving dramatically in ways not possible 30 years ago.

The conference takes place Friday 14th February, at the Business School's premises at 1-11 Short Street, Level 2 Lecture Theatre, from 2pm to 5pm.

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