Cooperative and competitive negotiation patterns among worker representatives in Europe

  • Elgoibar, Patricia
    IESEG School of Management, France
  • Lourdes Munduate, Spain
  • Francisco Medina, Spain
  • Martin Euwema, Belgium


European worker representatives (WRs) are currently facing challenges and becoming more relevant in organizational negotiations (Munduate, Euwema, and Elgoibar, 2012). Therefore, exploring WRs’ negotiation behavior becomes necessary in order to analyze the room for cooperation in the European industrial relations context. This study explores the negotiation pattern of European WRs, using the Conglomerate Conflict Behavior (CCB) theory (Van de Vliert, Euwema, and Huismans, 1995).

Europe cannot be analyzed as a homogenous entity but should instead be recognized as a comprising diversity of industrial relations climates (Hyman, 2005). We analyze WRs’ negotiation patterns in five countries: Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Results based on correlations and cluster analyses show that: a) forcing and integrating are positively related behaviors for WRs; b) WRs in Spain tend to use a competitive negotiation pattern; and c) WRs in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands tend to use a cooperative conflict pattern. We discuss the impact of the industrial relations climate in the WRs’ negotiation pattern.


Worker representatives, negotiation behavior, cooperative, competitive, Europe

Download the Paper