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A more flexible labour market could lead to a conflict between the employees

11 November 2014

What effects has a more flexible approach to work on the co-operation between employers and employees, and between employees themselves? How do we ensure that employees remain committed to their work and the organization they work for? How do we preserve the solidarity between workers and can we avoid a battle between different groups of workers, such as the elderly and young people, and immigrant workers? These and other questions are central to the teaching of Agnes Akkerman (Heerenveen, 1967) who will begin her work as professor of Sustainable Co-operation with a focus on collective labour relations on January 1st 2015. This academic chair, established by the James Coleman Association, has been accommodated at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Agnes Akkerman will continue to work as associate professor at the Free University of Amsterdam (VU) and the Radboud University Nijmegen. She conducts research and provides education in the field of sustainable work relations. In this context, she examines the relations between employers and employees and the relations between employees themselves. Themes are collective bargaining, strikes, and conflicts in the workplace. Akkerman’s research fits within the focus area Sustainable Society of the University of Groningen and connects with other Groningen research in this field.

Akkerman: “Sustainable co-operation between employers and employees is now increasingly under pressure because of the increasing flexibility of labour, the ageing of the labour market and the effects of globalization. This has effects on employee participation in companies, and on the solidarity between workers, for example, in connection with new migrants and between generations. But the loyalty of workers to an organization is under pressure, too.”

Akkerman is an internationally recognized expert in this field. Her close connection with the practice of labour relations is essential for this research. Within her research and education, she contributes to an informed debate about future work relations in a rapidly changing world. 2015.

Last modified:23 October 2017 3.43 p.m.
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