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The purpose of this paper is to explore management development in five trade unions. It investigates senior trade union managers' interpretations of management…
The purpose of this paper is to explore management development in five trade unions. It investigates senior trade union managers' interpretations of management development, in particular, the extent to which they view management development as relevant to trade unions. The article also explores the link between managers' interpretations and the external environment for trade union activity. It considers the potential discord between the unitarist values and assumptions that arguably frame much management development literature and the democratic and pluralist values of trade unionism.
This research takes an interpretive qualitative approach. In‐depth interviews with nine key “elite” individuals representing five trade unions were carried out, in order to elicit their subjective interpretations of management development.
Trade union managers view management development as necessary in the context of environmental uncertainty. Moreover, although management development in trade unions retains some unitarist assumptions, it is also linked to core trade union values of fairness and justice.
The in‐depth qualitative interview design allows for exploration of management development activities in a small number of unions and from a management perspective. Further research is needed to explore the issues in a wider context.
The paper begins to highlight and theorise management development in trade unions.
The article has implications in relation to the role of trade unions as employers.
The article explores and theorises management development in relation to trade union management practices. It explores trade union education from the management development perspective rather than from an industrial relations or political education paradigm.
The concepts of mutuality, learning and change are embedded in the ideas surrounding employee led development (ELD) schemes. This paper explores the extent to which these…
The concepts of mutuality, learning and change are embedded in the ideas surrounding employee led development (ELD) schemes. This paper explores the extent to which these concepts are an accurate reflection of the way such schemes are organised in practice. The article is based on qualitative research carried out in two small to medium sized enterprises in the north of England. We will show that while ELD can be beneficial to employees, attempts to apply the concepts of mutuality, learning and change require caution.
The purpose of this paper is to explore performance management in four UK trade unions. Specifically, the extent to which managers in the four unions accept or dismiss the…
The purpose of this paper is to explore performance management in four UK trade unions. Specifically, the extent to which managers in the four unions accept or dismiss the unitarist, disciplinary and performative values that arguably characterise performance management practices.
A qualitative research design was adopted to investigate trade union managers’ interpretations of performance management. Managers were targeted because they held the power to shape performance management practices in their specific areas. The research employed qualitative semi-structured interviews.
Performance management in trade unions is linked to the structure, purpose and orientation of different types of trade union. It is also linked to the wider environmental context. The trade union managers’ interpretations of performance management are linked to disciplinary and performative values. As such they are comparable to the unitarist forms of performance management described in the literature. There are moreover, similarities and differences between the approaches to performance management between trade unions and for profit or public sector organisations.
The paper adds to the emerging literature on internal trade union management by highlighting a particular aspect of human resource management.