Competitive consensus: bargaining on employment and competitiveness in the Netherlands

M.J. Huiskamp, Rien Huiskamp, Maarten van Riemsdijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article shows how bargaining on the conflicting issues of fighting unemployment and increasing competitiveness has evolved. It offers an empirical insight into the degree to which the national framework agreements that form part of the now famous Dutch polder model are implemented. At the national level framework agreements are set up and recommendations are made on a wide range of issues. It is shown that these are then interpreted and partly adopted by negotiators at lower collective bargaining levels. At company level, three cases illustrate differences in the degree to which companies implement the outcomes of collective agreements: from ‘dedicated follower’ to ‘rebels with a cause'. Looking at the evidence, it seems the Dutch have experienced a form of organised decentralisation.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)682-696
Number of pages15
JournalTransfer: vakblad over internationalisering in het hoger onderwijs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • METIS-208773
  • IR-98866

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