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A retrospective action-research case study of one branch of the University and College Union (UCU) is used to show how threshold requirements of the Act can be…
A retrospective action-research case study of one branch of the University and College Union (UCU) is used to show how threshold requirements of the Act can be systematically beaten.
The paper responds to calls for “best practice” on how trade unions may react to member voting threshold requirements of the Trade Union Act 2016 (the Act). A broader aim is to make a theoretical contribution related to trade union organising and tactics in “get the vote out” (GTVO) industrial action organising campaigns.
Findings are presented as a lead organiser's first-hand account of a successful GTVO campaign contextualised in relation to theories of organising. The findings offer “best practice” for union organisers required to beat the Act's voting thresholds and also contribute to theories surrounding trade union organising tactics.
Further development and adaptation of the proposed model may be required when applied to larger bargaining units and different organising contexts.
The findings can inform the organising practices/tactics of trade unions in relation to statutory ballots. The findings also allow Human Resource (HR) practitioners to reflect on their approach to dealing with unions capable of mounting successful GTVO campaigns.
The findings have the potential to collectively empower workers, via their trade unions, to defend and further their interests in a post-financial crisis context and in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the first known empirical account of organising to exceed voting thresholds of the Act, providing practical steps for union organisers in planning for statutory ballots. Further value lies in the paper's use of a novel first-hand account of a GTVO campaign, offering a new and first, theoretical model of organising tactics to beat the Act.
Brewing has experienced a considerable revival in recent years with the number of brewers in the UK being at its highest level since the 1930s (Cask Report, 2018). After…
Brewing has experienced a considerable revival in recent years with the number of brewers in the UK being at its highest level since the 1930s (Cask Report, 2018). After decades of mergers and takeovers saw the emergence of a small number of global brewing conglomerates, many of the recently established breweries have spearheaded what has been referred to as a ‘craft beer revolution’. Typically, producing small batches of artisan brews and with small workforces, the output of craft brewers accounts for approximately 2.5% of all beer sales in the UK, but is the fastest growing sector of the drinks market. The growth of the industry mirrors that seen by artisan food producers and has led some to suggest an emerging preference for rejecting mass produced food and drink products.
Despite recognition of the craft beer industry’s emergence, growth and cultural significance, almost nothing is known about the individuals who started these new breweries, nor what their motivations for doing so were. Drawing upon 30 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with owner-brewers of craft breweries from across Scotland, this chapter presents findings examining owners’ backgrounds and motivations for starting their brewery. The findings show a range of motivations and expectations amongst the group of owners and provide a useful basis for making practical recommendations of how other aspiring craft beer ‘entrepreneurs’ can be best supported by the industry.
Fewer than half of UK start-up businesses survive beyond five years (ONS, 2020). The Scottish Small Business Survey of 2019 found competition in the market and uncertainty…
Fewer than half of UK start-up businesses survive beyond five years (ONS, 2020). The Scottish Small Business Survey of 2019 found competition in the market and uncertainty as to how to face it were considered the most significant barrier to success by almost half of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) (Scottish Government, 2020). This chapter considers how four Scottish breweries have formulated start-up strategies to respond to competition in an ever-increasingly crowded marketplace in order to maximise their likelihood of survival. The findings from each of these case studies are presented in an accessible format, and indicate that a variety of approaches to the development of the businesses can be adopted, albeit planned approaches dominate. Drawing on real life experiences of four successful businesses, the practical choices they took provide guidance and inspiration for other aspiring craft beer entrepreneurs in selecting an appropriate approach to and content of their founding strategy.
This chapter brings together a commentary on the three chapters in the part Making and Selling Craft Beer. Highlighting key themes emerging from these chapters, they were…
This chapter brings together a commentary on the three chapters in the part Making and Selling Craft Beer. Highlighting key themes emerging from these chapters, they were put to a seasoned brewer who owns a microbrewery which services his own pub in rural Lincolnshire. The conclusion presents a discussion between the researcher and the brewer to unpack the everyday realities of making and selling beer with particular consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this chapter, the authors explore the entrepreneurial nature of craft brewing. The authors find growth in the microbrewery sector has been supported through a…
In this chapter, the authors explore the entrepreneurial nature of craft brewing. The authors find growth in the microbrewery sector has been supported through a cooperative approach between competing artisanal small firms. This has helped build competitive advantage in resistance to the dominant market forces of large brewers. Data were gathered using semi-structured interviews with 12 craft brewers in the North East of Scotland. Analysed findings are used in the design of a conceptual model on the nature of collaboration in the craft beer sector. An artisanal scene is presented, where community benefit and continued development of the craft beer movement is prioritised, over commercial and strategic growth. The typically small firms in this area share resources and support each other in a drive to wean customers away from the large mainstream producers. The authors argue that the nature of the craft beer sector seeks to actively resist market dominance, not only through product quality and marketing, but also in the entrepreneurial behaviours enacted to sustain the movement. The findings suggest a co-existence of both collaboration and competition in the strategic decisions of craft brewers. The focus is on the locally embedded connections these firms develop in the maintenance of their craft roots, with a range of complex interconnected factors linking brewer, community, and the broader industry.
On-site brewery tap rooms are becoming an increasingly common feature of craft beer businesses and are frequently seen as a vital element in their success. With their…
On-site brewery tap rooms are becoming an increasingly common feature of craft beer businesses and are frequently seen as a vital element in their success. With their origins in the sampling room and brewery visitor centres, tap rooms have evolved into drinking destinations where craft beer aficionados can grow their knowledge and enjoy the prestige of having direct contact with brewers in the proximity of production. It is also a stage where an independent local business can perform its ethical superiority over corporate global brewing. More surprisingly, perhaps, brewery tap rooms are becoming a valuable and trusted community resource, as pubs and other gathering places are lost.
This chapter takes the major themes emerging from the two academic chapters on beer communities and discusses these with a rural craft ‘nano’ brewer in Fife, Scotland. The…
This chapter takes the major themes emerging from the two academic chapters on beer communities and discusses these with a rural craft ‘nano’ brewer in Fife, Scotland. The discussion touches on the value of online communities for learning to brew and advertising to customers. However, this is tempered with a realisation of the divide between the homebrewing education community and the commercial necessities of running a small brewery, and the limited value of glossy Instagram photos to smaller brewers in selling their craft beer. This chapter reinforces the importance of localism and face to face selling for nanobrewers, and the value of establishing symbiotic relationships with other local producers and sellers.