When accumulation pressures meet regulatory institutions: A comparison in logistics



Pulignano V, Thompson P & Doerflinger N (2022) When accumulation pressures meet regulatory institutions: A comparison in logistics. European Journal of Industrial Relations.

This comparative study explores whether and how institutions can become a source of influence on accumulation dynamics in the labor process. It examines how employer strategies for the realization of value within the warehousing, parcel, and transport business divisions of a lead logistics multinational are operationalized in Germany, Belgium, and Sweden. Findings indicate within (and across) country variation in the operationalization paths we identify: compliance, avoidance, and exit. We explain the cross-country variation of each path by pointing to the strategies and negotiation processes pertaining to the usage of flexible labor at each workplace. We also illustrate that this usage relates to the mechanisms of optimization by standardization and of relational management used by employers to contain costs within the scope of each division’s managerial regime.

accumulation; institutions; flexibility; logistics; political economy of work; labor process

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

European Journal of Industrial Relations

StatusIn Press
Publication date online27/01/2022
Date accepted by journal27/01/2022

People (1)


Professor Paul Thompson

Professor Paul Thompson

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation