Phase 3: Understanding restructuring processes and the management of change
Qualitative research is needed on the company level to fully understand the complex interrelations between liberalisation/privatisation and employment, productivity and the quality of services. Research in Phase 3 aims at complementing the sector studies carried out in Phase 2 in particular in areas on which research and data are missing. Phase 3 will be the first part of the primary empirical research, based on the findings of the previous phases.
A special focus will be laid on the processes of internal restructuring as these have a major impact on the well-being of employees and hence on their performance. Another focus will be on the development of working conditions because of the lack of adequate quantitative data on the development of working conditions in public services. A third focus will deal with the nature and scope of quality management in the respective companies and its assessment by employees and work councils. This information will be used in the discussion of problems and challenges to assess quality in public services. Finally, a fourth focus will be on the impact of restructuring on employment relations and human resource management including the training workers receive.
Three case-studies will be conducted in each country; one each from three different sectors (selected from the four sectors under investigation). This amounts to a total of 18 case-studies.
Phase 3 consists of two Work packages
On the basis of the findings of phases 1 and 2, the research questions will be specified and hypotheses drawn that will form the basis for the “construction” of the case-study guidelines. A qualitative research instrument (guidelines) will be developed for case-studies using problem-centred interviews and document analysis. The guidelines will be translated into the respective languages spoken in the partner countries. The design of the case-study research will be finalised and the cases will be selected. This will be done in a standardised way in order to allow comparability of findings. Three out of the four sectors will be selected for case-study research in each country. In the sectors major service providers or former monopolists will be chosen for the case studies. For each case-study eight to ten interviews will be conducted with representatives from management, works councils and from the different departments or categories of workers.
Synthesising case-study findings
This workpackage aims at analysing the 18 case studies on the basis of the individual case study reports, conducting a comparative analysis of the findings and writing of an international and cross-sector synthesis report.
Publications and dissemination activities
A major deliverable of this phase of the PIQUE research is a Synthesis report on case-study findings.