Piotti G, 2011, "Conversion as a mechanism of hybridization: the institutional transfer of industrial relations and vocational training from western to eastern Germany" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 29(3) 397 – 409
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Conversion as a mechanism of hybridization: the institutional transfer of industrial relations and vocational training from western to eastern Germany
Received 22 December 2009; in revised form 8 December 2010
Abstract. Looking back over the two decades since German unification, the main questions I want to answer are to what extent and through what mechanisms the transfer of the system of industrial relations and vocational training—two cornerstones of the West German model—has occurred in eastern Germany. The literature argues that institutional transfer very often leads to a process of hybridization in institutions. However, the concept of hybridization has also been criticized as being mainly descriptive and vague about the actual mechanisms of hybridization. In this paper I argue that these mechanisms should be specified further and suggest that the hybridization approach can be fruitfully linked to recent theories of institutional change. As far as the transfer of industrial relations and vocational training from western to eastern Germany is concerned, I argue in particular that hybridization has mainly occurred through what institutional literature has recently defined as the mechanism of conversion.
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