Articulation, Structuration, and Action Fields: Theoretical Approaches

  • Thomas Haipeter
  • Markus Hertwig
  • Sophie Rosenbohm


Existing theory in the field of transnational labour relations has, so far, followed an actor- or structure-centred approach, with little reference to the interconnectedness of representational bodies that are located at different levels in a multi-level system of industrial relations. This chapter sets out the overarching theoretical approach used in the study, which comprises three theoretical building blocks: Giddens’ theory of structuration; the theory of action fields, as proposed by Fligstein and McAdam; and the concept of articulation, which highlights the interconnectedness of different representational bodies and action fields. Based on these considerations, we define articulation as the degree of vertical coordination and horizontal integration of actors or representational bodies across local, national, and transnational action fields. The chapter concludes with a typology of articulation patterns that then serves as an analytical schema for the empirical investigation of employee representation within multinational companies.


Theory of structuration Articulation Multi-level system Power resources Interpretations Interests 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Haipeter
    • 1
  • Markus Hertwig
    • 2
  • Sophie Rosenbohm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Work, Skills and TrainingUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  2. 2.Chemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany

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