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Opening the black box: actors and interactions shaping European sectoral social dialogue

Bechter, B.; Weber, S.; Galetto, M.; Larsson, B.; Prosser, T.

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S. Weber

M. Galetto

B. Larsson

T. Prosser


This article highlights the importance of organizational resources and individual capabilities for interactions and relationships among social partners in European sectoral social dialogue committees (SSDCs). We use an actor-centred approach to investigate work programme setting in the hospital and metalworking SSDCs. Our research reveals differences in how European social partner organizations coordinate and integrate members in SSDCs. In hospital, European Union (EU)-social partners build bridges that span otherwise separate actors or groups. The findings suggest that the absence of bridging efforts can lead to the dominance of a few actors. In metalworking, small cohesive groups are more effective in forming close networks and determining work programmes. While work programmes in hospital represent issues which are on national agendas, in metalworking, they focus mainly on EU policy areas.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 16, 2021
Publication Date Sep 1, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2021
Journal European Journal of Industrial Relations
Print ISSN 0959-6801
Electronic ISSN 1461-7129
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 3
Pages 269-288
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Published Journal Article (153 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

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