New Research on Labor Relations and the Performance of University HR/IR Programs: Volume 10


Table of contents

(11 chapters)

List of contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Pages ix-x
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To be effective, unions have to adopt structures that fit the demands of their environments. When key elements of these environments change, there is pressure for union structures to do likewise. Yet, while the U.S. airline industry has seen fundamental changes over the past three decades, the basic contours of union representation, including single-carrier bargaining and craft organization, have remained largely intact. Adjustments to the structure of airline labor have been more subtle and include intensified efforts to organize the unorganized; better coordination among the sub-units of some national unions; and improved cooperation across union and national boundaries.

This chapter focuses on the following conceptualization of union wage determination: that wage provisions in union contracts manifest significant longitudinal stability, or ‘wage rules’ that hold across bargaining rounds despite differences in industry and company profits and prospects. The contracts between the major U.S. automobile assemblers and the UAW union over the period 1970–1999 are examined and found to provide support for this hypothesis. Particularly notable is the apparent return to a variant of the previous wage rules in the ‘post-concession’ era since the mid-1980s. Possible explanations for the emergence and persistence of such rules and implications for union wage determination, the overall wage structure, and the analysis of other economic aspects of human behavior are also discussed.

This study evaluates the implementation of a crew chief program. Data from surveys administered both before and after trials in six cities were analyzed. Using an exchange theory model and qualitative literature on workplace teams, hypotheses were generated concerning the pre-existing workplace climate, crew chief role and relations, and differences between those who became crew chiefs and regular mail processors. Greater acceptance was predicted by stronger management support of the program, crew chiefs not behaving as junior supervisors, and viewing the position as desirable and as a promotion. However, the hypothesis relating the pre-existing climate to program acceptance was not supported.

Event study methods are used to estimate the effects of union certification applications on the returns to shareholders in Canada. Two methods of inference are employed: a classical method, and a resampling method which makes no assumptions about the distributions of share returns. Certifications granted without a representation vote have virtually no effect on returns, whereas certifications granted after a vote have a negative impact. Dismissed applications that required a representation vote also have a negative effect. These results suggest that the certification process itself is important; providing another explanation for the difference in the experiences of the Canadian and U.S. labour movements.

Over 1,100 Human Resource executives responded to a survey concerning their perceptions of the HR issues their companies are facing; the role of HR in their organization; the skills HR employees should possess; and the substantive HR knowledge that graduates of HR programs should be able to demonstrate. Results suggest the most important issue facing HR executives today is managing change. Executives felt it was extremely important for HR professionals to be able to create a recruitment program in today's labor market. The results of this research provide several implications for the design and the delivery of HR educational programs.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN