It has become almost an accepted axiom within contemporary political science that macro-political forms of bargaining are in irreversible decline. Such institutionalised forms of bargaining are now perceived as inflexible and rigid, constraining the adaptive response of business in volatile market conditions. Moreover, it is argued, that if the levels of economic growth enjoyed during the post-war period are to be sustained it is essential that we jettison such forms of bargaining. This paper challenges this view at both an empirical and theoretical level. It argues that an examination of recent macro-political bargaining agreements in Ireland indicates that rather than acting as a constraint upon they have assisted management in its introduction of flexible work practices and new forms of technology.