Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations: Volume 21

Cover of Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations

Table of contents

(12 chapters)
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Introduction

Pages ix-xii
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Abstract

In 2010, the National Mediation Board (NMB) decided to base Railway Labor Act representation election outcomes on a simple majority of those voting, rather than on the majority of all eligible voters, as had been required earlier. This was widely expected to make it easier for unions to win rights to recognition in the railway and airline industries. We demonstrate that investors expected that this change would favor unions, just as they earlier had expected rule changes that made voting easier (in 2002 and 2007) to be favorable to unions, affecting stock prices of railway and airline corporations. After the 2010 change in election procedure, between 77% and 91% of all eligible employees returned ballots in NMB elections, demonstrating that a significant portion of nonvoters were not opposed to union representation, but simply were unwilling or were unable to vote. We conclude that the current voting process is fairer than the old one. However, it has not resulted in a tide of union success in these representation elections. Apparently scholars, the parties themselves, and investors all over-estimated the practical consequences of changing NMB representation election procedures.

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Over the past few decades, the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has become one of the most controversial and politicized divisions of the Department of Labor. Republic and Democratic Administrations have adopted starkly different practices concerning both the allocation of resources and the focus of regulatory activities at the division. These differences have been brought into sharp focus during the Bush II and Obama Administrations. Under the Bush Administration, funding for OLMS increased significantly, and the DOL revised union financial reporting requirements, imposing a more onerous burden on unions in the name of promoting transparency and accountability. Section 1 of this paper provides a summary and analysis of the most significant changes and innovations at the OLMS under the Obama Administration. Section 2 of the paper provides a detailed summary of the Bush era reforms and their fate under the Obama OLMS, and an analysis of the impact of these reforms in the area of increasing union transparency and accountability. It argues that the Bush reforms did little or nothing to achieve greater accountability and may instead have been motivated largely by a desire to impose a more onerous administrative burden on reporting unions.

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This research investigates and finds support for the hypothesis that the demand for human resource managers is largely derived from the relative demand for professional, managerial, and technical employees with high levels of occupationally specific human capital. Strong demand for these employees significantly increases both employment and earnings of human resource managers, reflecting the growing importance of occupational specific capital to firm performance and the practice of human resources. Using data from the Occupational Employment Statistics and the Current Population Survey March Supplement the research analysis finds that the employment of approximately 11% of the labor force is strongly associated with greater employment and higher compensation of human resource managers, and the employment of another 9% of the labor force is more weakly associated with the employment of human resource management (HRM). However, the employment of approximately 40% of the labor force is associated with the relative decrease in employment and compensation of HRM.

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This study investigates the relationship among preference for full-time employment, primacy of part-time employment, and work-related outcomes in a nationally representative sample of part-time college instructors. Results based on multilevel cross-classified random effects models indicate that part-time faculty who prefer full-time positions report working on average more hours per week and express greater work-related dissatisfaction than those who choose reduced work hours. Individuals whose part-time jobs are their primary jobs have less job satisfaction but work longer hours than those who treat part-time work as secondary. Finally, those who prefer full-time employment report more negative job satisfaction when the primacy of their part-time jobs is high.

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The funding of defined-benefit plans has garnered the attention of academicians, practitioners, and policymakers. Drawing upon agency and organizational control theories, this study investigates the implications of board independence on changes in defined-benefit funding. Using a panel dataset of S&P 500 companies sponsoring defined-benefit plans, the author finds that corporate boards matter. Specifically, CEO duality and outside director representation are associated with year-to-year decreases in defined-benefit funding. Conversely, outside director ownership is related to year-to-year increases in defined-benefit funding. Furthermore, outside director ownership moderated the relationship between outside director representation and defined-benefit funding such that outside director representation is associated with year-to-year increases in defined-benefit plan funding when the percentage of outside director ownership is high.

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Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation for the weak or altogether missing performance effects is that researchers rely on frameworks that focus almost exclusively on contingencies related to the workers themselves or to the set of tasks subject to participatory processes. This study is premised on the notion that a broader examination of the employment relationship within which a worker participation program is embedded reveals a wider array of factors impinging upon its success. I integrate labor relations theory into existing insights from the strategic human resource management literature to advance an alternative framework that additionally accounts for structures and processes above the workplace level – namely, the (potentially implicit) contract linking employees to the organization and the business strategies enacted by the latter. The resulting propositions suggest that the performance-enhancing impact of worker participation hinges on the presence of participatory or participation-supporting structures at all three levels of the employment relationship. I conclude with implications for participation research.

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Cover of Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
DOI
10.1108/S0742-6186201521
Publication date
2015-02-02
Book series
Advances in Industrial & Labor Relations
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-380-4
Book series ISSN
0742-6186