From a methodological viewpoint the reason for comparing countries which are similar, but not identical, in economic and social structure is to reduce and control for the number of possible influencing conditions in order to make the investigation more manageable. However, even within the more restricted ambit of a comparable set of countries there may be a danger of over-generalisation from comparative investigation and the temptation to accord the conclusions from a limited number of cases the status of universal propositions. In surveying the literature of comparative industrial relations it is apparent that a number of conceptual frameworks may be utilised in order to aid systematic analysis and identify the core elements of complex processes. Clearly, the influence of the national environment is deeply embedded within a country's industrial relations methods and practices, its institutions and procedures.