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Industrial relations in greenfield sites

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There is a popular stereotype that at greenfield sites managers practice, and sustain over time new forms of human resource management and that in doing so they obtain highly positive performance outcomes. A persisting theme in this stereotype is that greenfield sites are characterised by a highly collaborative form of employee relations and that they are largely strike and conflict free. The aim of this paper is to test the stereotype by reviewing what is known about the subject. Existing research on greenfield sites is places within a broad conceptual framework, key issues are highlighted and gaps in our knowledge identified. The discussion in foreign-owned firms; how well greenfield sites cope with the ageing process; and the industrial relations and human resource outcomes obtained in greenfield sites. The review finds that most research ignores the last two issues. At present it is impossible to conclude with confidence that IR/HR practices adopted in these firms are any more effective than traditional systems. There is also little or no evidence about how greenfield site practices adapt over time. The review provides the point of departures for research being undertaken at the LSE''s Centre for Economic Performance; the research agenda is briefly discussed.

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