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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Girish Balasubramanian and Santanu Sarkar

The purpose of this paper is to delve into some of the key internal and external factors that led to the choice of specific strategies for union revitalization using the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to delve into some of the key internal and external factors that led to the choice of specific strategies for union revitalization using the theoretical framework built upon framing perspectives, the strategic action field (SAF), and the strategic choice theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a stringent definition and corresponding operationalization of trade union revitalization. The present research has been carried out on a registered industrial union within the context of Global South, specifically in India.

Findings

Evidence was found for the trade union adopting a mix of strategies for revitalization, namely, union organizing, social movement unionism, and union restructuring. A mix of both internal and external factors identified informed the choice of revitalization strategies.

Research limitations/implications

Specific limitations include the subjectivity of the inference in spite of taking due precautions, and lack of generalizability of the findings based on a single case study.

Practical implications

A strong identity, coupled with structural vitality and optimum use of resources enables trade unions to frame the need of a strategy for revival in order to counter the strategic action of employers resulting in union revitalization.

Originality/value

The theoretical novelty of this research stems from the amalgamation of collective action frames, SAF, and strategic choice framework to understand the union revitalization in the context of Global South.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2018

Jerry A. Carbo, Steven J. Haase and M. Blake Hargrove

The purpose of this chapter is to develop a model of union reform that may help to revitalize the labor movement. Our model presents a path using democracy and militancy…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to develop a model of union reform that may help to revitalize the labor movement. Our model presents a path using democracy and militancy to overcome union oligarchy to build stronger unions and a stronger broader movement. We develop a new model of union revitalization by expanding the Voss and Sherman (2000) model from our own experiences and a review of past union revitalization efforts. Democratic and militant strategies are a key to successful reform efforts. Entrenched union leaders tend to oppose such efforts. Reformers must adequately overcome entrenched leader responses to succeed in reforming their unions. We have developed a new conceptual model of union revitalization. Our model should be tested further through in-depth case studies and analysis of reform efforts which have failed or succeeded. Our model presents strategies and tactics for labor activists to revitalize their unions and the labor movement. We present a new model of union revitalization that looks at both internal and external union revitalization. This chapter accumulates evidence across reform efforts throughout the modern history of unions. This comparative and contrasting analysis of the evidence from these efforts is a unique contribution to the field. Further, the resulting model from this review presents a unique focus on the strategies and tactics of reform efforts as well as the interaction between union reform efforts and entrenched leaders. This model provides a path for both future research and practical revitalization efforts.

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, 2017: Shifts in Workplace Voice, Justice, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Workplaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-486-8

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Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2003

Lowell Turner

In recent years, the long-declining U.S. labor movement has refocused in new and promising ways on rank-and-file mobilization, in organizing drives, collective bargaining…

Abstract

In recent years, the long-declining U.S. labor movement has refocused in new and promising ways on rank-and-file mobilization, in organizing drives, collective bargaining conflicts and political campaigns. Such efforts are widely viewed as the best hope for revitalizing the labor movement: breathing new life into tired old unions, winning organizing drives and raising membership levels, increasing political influence, pushing toward the power necessary to reform labor law and ineffective labor institutions. The stakes are high and the goals ambitious: to close the “representation gap” at the workplace, reverse growing economic and social inequality, and build new coalitions for expanded democratic participation in local, national and global politics.

Details

Labor Revitalization: Global Perspectives and New Initiatives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-153-8

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Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2018

Abstract

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, 2017: Shifts in Workplace Voice, Justice, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Workplaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-486-8

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2021

Francisca Gutiérrez Crocco and Angel Martin Caballero

The article explains why some Chilean companies have implemented a partnership strategy with trade unions, in a national context broadly described as unfavorable to such…

Abstract

Purpose

The article explains why some Chilean companies have implemented a partnership strategy with trade unions, in a national context broadly described as unfavorable to such approach. Moreover, it discusses the shape and limits of this strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The argument draws on a case study conducted between 2016 and 2018 in three large companies. Human resources managers, line managers and union officers were interviewed in each of these companies, and internal and administrative documentation were analyzed.

Findings

The article demonstrates that the management’s partnership strategy in the studied companies has emerged to contain the union revitalization. Additionally, it suggests this strategy has not favored trust-based relationships that guarantee long-term mutual gains for employees and companies. The article identifies some factors that explain this situation: the regulation, the economic uncertainty and the absence of a pluralist management perspective.

Originality/value

The article has the value of providing empirical evidence on union–management partnership, a topic that has gained strategic importance for large Chilean companies but remains unexplored in the mainstream the human resources management literature. The article also contributes to underscore the theoretical relevance of political and cultural variables in explaining management strategies and their results.

Propósito

El artículo explica por qué surge una política de colaboración empresa-sindicato en un contexto como el chileno, ampliamente descrito como desfavorable a este tipo de enfoque. Asimismo, discute la forma en que se instala esta política y los obstáculos para su desarrollo.

Diseño metodológico

El argumento se basa en un estudio de casos conducido entre el 2016 years el 2018 en tres grandes empresas. En cada una de ellas, se entrevistó a representantes de la dirección y dirigentes sindicales; se revisó documentación interna y administrativa.

Resultados

El artículo demuestra que la política de colaboración implementada por la dirección en las empresas estudiadas surge para contener la revitalización sindical. Asimismo, sugiere que esta política no ha favorecido en todos los casos relaciones de confianza que garanticen ganancias mutuas para los trabajadores y las empresas a largo plazo. Identifica algunos factores que explican esta situación: la regulación, la incertidumbre económica y la ausencia de un compromiso gerencial con una perspectiva pluralista.

Originalidad

El artículo tiene el valor de proveer evidencia empírica respecto de la colaboración empresa-sindicato, un tema que ha ganado importancia estratégica para las grandes empresas chilenas y que, sin embargo, sigue siendo desatendido por la literatura de GRH. El artículo también contribuye a subrayar la relevancia teórica de las variables políticas y culturales en la explicación de las estrategias gerenciales y sus resultados.

Details

Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1012-8255

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Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2018

Paul Whitehead, Paul F. Clark and Lois S. Gray

This chapter reports the results of a 20-year longitudinal study of how American unions have adapted their internal administrative practices to meet the significant…

Abstract

This chapter reports the results of a 20-year longitudinal study of how American unions have adapted their internal administrative practices to meet the significant external challenges they face. In previous scholarly work, researchers have reported that the administrative practices of American unions were far more informal, ad hoc, and political than those of business, government, and other nonprofit organizations. The authors’ 2010 survey asked US-based national and international unions to provide data concerning their internal administrative practices. The results were compared with findings from similar surveys conducted in 1990 and 2000. The results of these surveys indicate a steady increase in unions’ adoption of more formal personnel policies, budget practices, strategic planning processes, and efforts to evaluate planned activities over the 20-year period studied. They also indicate that unions increasingly recruit individuals meeting college, technical, and professional qualifications. Taken together, the results suggest a recognition on the part of many unions that adapting their internal administrative practices to the new realities they face is a fundamental and a necessary part of any effort at organizational renewal.

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, 2017: Shifts in Workplace Voice, Justice, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Workplaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-486-8

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Edmund Heery, Melanie Simms, Dave Simpson, Rick Delbridge and John Salmon

The concept of an “organizing model” of trade unionism has shaped union strategies for revitalization in a number of countries in recent years. This article examines the…

Abstract

The concept of an “organizing model” of trade unionism has shaped union strategies for revitalization in a number of countries in recent years. This article examines the transfer of “organizing unionism” to the UK in two ways. It presents findings from a survey of unions to identify the extent to which the organizing model is influencing national recruitment policy and presents case studies of three union campaigns which have drawn upon the organizing model, in an attempt to assess its strengths and weaknesses in a UK context. The survey results indicate only limited take‐up of the organizing model, though there is a group of vanguard unions which have embraced it with enthusiasm. The case studies demonstrate some success in applying the model, though identify employer resistance and internal opposition as significant constraints.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2012

Geoff Plimmer and Stephen Blumenfeld

This paper aims to identify what workplace representative behaviours are most strongly associated with members’ commitment. This is increasingly important, as…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify what workplace representative behaviours are most strongly associated with members’ commitment. This is increasingly important, as decentralised management practices have shifted management decisions to workplace levels, placing new demands on workplace representatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach is quantitative and cross sectional. A total of two unions and 32 workplaces are examined.

Findings

Members’ commitment corresponds to workplace delegate leadership that is responsive. Transparency had a negative relationship to commitment, possibly because it is also interpreted as bureaucratic and overly formal for workplace issues. Innovation was not significantly associated with members’ commitment. This applies regardless of occupational class, gender or age. It was also found that workplaces that had adopted the organising model had more committed members.

Research limitations/implications

Cross sectional relationships do not equal causation. However, the findings suggest that workplace level responsiveness by delegates is potentially very effective in building member commitment.

Practical implications

Unions can, with more confidence than previously, invest in developing responsive delegate leadership teams.

Originality/value

This paper provides insight into effective leadership behaviours that apply across two unions covering diverse workplaces and occupational types. As management decentralises, unions need to as well. This provides assistance to unions on how to do so. The cross sectional nature of the study builds on earlier research that may have been prone to common method variance.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Book part
Publication date: 2 February 2018

David Lewin and Paul J. Gollan

Abstract

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, 2017: Shifts in Workplace Voice, Justice, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Workplaces
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-486-8

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Bojindra Prasad Tulachan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the systematic development of trade unions in Nepal. To that end, it considers historical political paradigm shifts and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the systematic development of trade unions in Nepal. To that end, it considers historical political paradigm shifts and institutional dynamics from the beginning of trade unions to today.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts the background of biological growth theories and tests them with the use of qualitative and quantitative data, official records and historical literature.

Findings

The second juncture of trade unions was vacuum marked by the absence of a legal labor framework. The first stage of trade unionism was prevented from an official take-off as such in terms of unionization and union activities. The major reason for this phenomenon was the complete ban on trade unions placed by the monarchial regime. However, the alliance of trade unions with mother political parties helped them to bounce back in the early 1990s. Thus, the overall biological growth pattern of trade unions in Nepal appears as “discontinuous.”

Originality/value

The paper argues that the discontinuous development of trade unions appeared without undergoing a complete growth course of ferment, take-off and maturity as in the S-curve pattern. Second, the discontinuity of the trade unions led eventually to its formal existence as an institutionalized IR actor. Third, the trend of trade unionism since the 1980s and 1990s is one of gradual decline in developed, recently developed and developing countries, whereas it is on a sharp incline in Nepal.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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