Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations: Volume 11

Table of contents

(11 chapters)

List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Introduction

Pages ix-x
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This research examines the mediation process in the labor relations context to identify the determinants of mediators' tactics. First, data collected from secondary sources, informal networking with dispute resolution professionals, participant observation of new mediator training sessions, and qualitative interviews with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) mediators were used to develop a written survey. Next, the survey was distributed to practicing mediators with the FMCS. In brief, this research compares the assumptions underlying the FMCS' training curriculum with practitioner sentiments concerning good mediator practice.Six hypotheses were developed from the preliminary analysis. These hypotheses were tested using linear regression. Four statistically significant relationships were found. Three hypotheses were confirmed. Survey results indicated that mediator tactics tend to cluster into two groups, “the broad approach” and “the narrow approach.” The survey data suggest that the broad and narrow approaches to mediation are complements to each other rather than substitutes for one another. Therefore, I summed the “broad approach” and “narrow approach” scales to create one measure of mediator tactics, which I named “the bifocal approach.” The following predictors of the bifocal approach were found to be statistically significant: bargaining context, mediator acceptability, bargaining chips, and unionization rate.

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Using an experimental design, the author examines the impact of AFL-CIO political education outreach on union members' perception of, and preferences for, political candidates in three 1996 Wisconsin congressional races. Contrary to the rational voter model, results show that a direct informational campaign has little effect on union member vote behavior. Rather, members' preferences for candidates demonstrate stability during the two months prior to the election, and change in members' perception of candidates is associated with pre-outreach preferences. These results support the psychological voter model, and suggest that organized labor must build a culture of political mobilization to have a substantial impact on electoral outcomes.

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In this article, I investigate the effect that the communication of an anti-union message delivered by faculty union opponents and the university administration had on a recent faculty union organizing drive at Illinois State University. Specifically, I argue that the Illinois State University Faculty Association's (ISUFA) certification election loss was due to the union opponents' effective communication of a message that having a faculty union and collective bargaining representation would impose more costs than benefits through the standardization of college and departmental resources across the university and by creating an adversarial climate between the administration and faculty members. Conversely, the union was ineffective in combating these two arguments by convincing faculty of the overriding benefits of unionization. The ISUFA failed to build a sufficient “community of interest” (or solidarity) among the faculty by focusing on a single issue or a set of related issues that extended to university-wide issues as a whole or to external issues that confronted the faculty as a profession. The article concludes with lessons learned from the campaign.

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DOI
10.1016/S0742-6186(2002)11
Publication date
Book series
Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-0-76230-853-8
Book series ISSN
0742-6186