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Lecture | Seminar

FGGA Research Seminar: Linking the Discontented Employee and the Discontented Citizen

Wednesday 28 November 2018
No registration is needed for the seminar. After the seminar, refreshments will be served.
FGGA Research Seminars
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague


Currently, at least three important developments in labor relations pose vital challenges to employees’ voice at the work floor: (a) labor migration; (b) flexibilization of work contracts; and (c) a trend of restricting collective forms of labor voice and representation. These societal developments fundamentally change employees’ position in the organization and reduce their ability to express, and effectively suppress their voice at work. This has triggered debates on how employment relation institutions should adapt. Meanwhile, alarming consequences become apparent: increasing levels of burn out among, especially, young flex workers; exploitation of migrant worker; and mounting levels of anti-organizational behaviors as alternative channels of expressing discontent.  While we thus already witness the direct consequences of restrictions to employee voice in day to day employment relations, its long term, deeper societal impact is not recognized yet, let alone understood.

 Agnes Akkerman will present her current research project (for which she received a VICI grant in 2015) on how these restrictions to workers’ voice spill over to workers’ political behavior. She will present unique data on micro-level workplace instances of employee voice and employers’ responses to it. Furthermore, she will present the first results on how this affects employees’ political activity and attitudes, such as preferences for authoritarian leadership and populist voting.


Agnes Akkerman is professor of Labour Market Institutions and Labour Relations at the Institute for Management Research at Radboud University & James Coleman professor of Sustainable Cooperation in Collective labor relations at the department of Sociology at the University of Groningen. Her research includes the link between work and political behavior. She has published in, a.o. American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Political Studies and Social Science Research.

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