Unraveling the Idea of 'Commons' in Employment Relations

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"The idea of 'Commons' in employment relations emerges as a criticism of organizational and institutional practices rendering people as employees, their intellectual labour, and even the customers as the eternal or near-permanent property of such organizations. Organizations ensure that the creation of intellectual property by the knowledge workers is captured through the 'Work for Hire' clauses in the employment contract which require them to assign the ownership rights to their organizations for achieving competitive advantage. However, organizations try to achieve sustainability of such competitive advantage through various restrictive covenants such as non-disclosure, non-compete, and non-solicitation agreements signed by the employees. While some organizations provide employees with some incentives for signing such restrictive covenants, the approach towards enforcement of such restrictive covenants varies across the globe depending upon the local, regional and national regulations and legislations. While there is no dearth of literature depicting the manifestation of ownership interests of organizations, democratization of corporate ownership or community ownership is also advocated by another set of literature. However, the existing literature and institutional practices tend to recognize the interest of one or more stakeholders such as employees, organizations, customers, and society at the expense of the legitimate interests of others resulting in perceived inequitable and unsustainable outcomes. This research paper attempts to highlight such perceived inequitable and unsustainable outcomes based on different disputed legal cases in a developing country like India in the post liberalization and globalization era across different industries like FMCG, Banking and Financial Services, Bio-medical Services etc., with the objective of providing alternate approach towards the enforcement of restrictive covenants."



intellectual property rights, trade