The death of corporatism? Managing change in the fire service

Fitzgerald, Ian (2005) The death of corporatism? Managing change in the fire service. Personnel Review, 34 (6). pp. 648-662. ISSN 0048-3486

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Purpose – To demonstrate how government policy on fires service reform was initially challenged by a stubbornly resistant fire service corporatism but finally dismantled following the 2003 fire service White Paper.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on longitudinal case study data that includes 50 semi-structured interviews with key fire service personnel at regional and national levels.

Findings – This paper examines the roots of corporatism at national and local levels and demonstrates how the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) had significant levels of influence on management decision-making. This was strongly reflected in the key role of the FBU in the industrial relations process that enabled the union to protect “entrenched” working practices. However, at a local level longstanding corporatist partnerships began to break down as a financial crisis arose and management took a more proactive approach. Corporatist structures at a national level, though, remained and it was not until the Labour government's second term of office that these national structures were overhauled following a White Paper and legislation.

Originality/value – This paper demonstrates that whilst fire service management has consolidated its position under the Labour administration it has proved a disaster for the FBU.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Taken from the special issue "Employment relations and public services' “modernisation” under Labour"
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labor unions, Public sector-Great Britain
Subjects: L200 Politics
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2011 12:22
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 09:54

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