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How union participation influences union commitment and job involvement

Min Li (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Wenyuan Huang (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Chunyang Zhang (School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Zhengxi Yang (School of Public Administration, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 1 August 2019

Issue publication date: 16 September 2019

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409

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw on triadic reciprocal determinism and social exchange theory to examine how “induced-type” and “compulsory-type” union participation influence union commitment and job involvement, and how union participation in the west differs from that in China. It also examines whether the role of both organizational justice and employee participation climate (EPC) functions in the Chinese context.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional data are collected from 694 employees in 46 non-publicly owned enterprises, both Chinese and foreign, in the Pearl River Delta region of China. A multi-level moderated mediation test is used to examine the model of this research.

Findings

Union participation is positively related to organizational justice, union commitment and job involvement. In addition, organizational justice acts as the mediator among union participation, union commitment and job involvement. Specifically, the mediating role of organizational justice between union participation and union commitment, and between union participation and job involvement, is stronger in high-EPC contexts than low-EPC contexts.

Originality/value

Instead of examining the impacts of attitudes on union participation, as per most studies in the western context, this research examines the impacts of union participation in the Chinese context on attitudes, including union commitment and job involvement. It also reveals the role of both organizational justice and EPC in the process through which union participation influences union commitment and job involvement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research project has been supported by the National Natural Science of Foundation of PR China (No. 71472066).

Citation

Li, M., Huang, W., Zhang, C. and Yang, Z. (2019), "How union participation influences union commitment and job involvement", Employee Relations, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 1348-1363. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-06-2018-0170

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited