It is in the interest of European business to promote its own model for employee relations in the face of increasing globalisation, TUC general secretary John Monks told an HR conference.
Monks said Europe does not have to sit back and watch the world adopt an American approach. He said whether global companies opted for a European model with an element of social responsibility is likely the "biggest ideological issue of our age".
He told delegates at the Eighth HR World Congress in Paris the European model "could be a world model. It doesn't have to be as taught by Harvard".
Monks added that since the collapse of communism companies appeared all powerful. "And yet there is a paradox," he said. "Companies have never been more frightened, about what predator is about to gobble them up."
For that reason, he believed it was in the interests of European business to export its own model to the rest of the world.
The conference attracted more than 2,000 delegates from as far afield as South America. In addition to keynote addresses by business and HR leaders from all over Europe, delegates attended workshops on topics from knowledge management and international team building to shareholding and European works councils.