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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2012

Gregor Gall and Jack Fiorito

The aim of this paper is to give a critique of the extant literature on union commitment and participation in order to develop remedies to identified weaknesses

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to give a critique of the extant literature on union commitment and participation in order to develop remedies to identified weaknesses

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a critical assessment of extant literature.

Findings

A number of critical deficiencies exist in the literature to which remedies are proposed.

Research limitations/implications

The remedies need testing through empirical research.

Practical implications

Future research needs to have different research foci and questions.

Social implications

With a reorientation of future research on union commitment, participation and leadership, unions may be better able to benefit from academic research in the area.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that a reorientation of future research on union commitment, participation and leadership will allow more incisive and more robust contributions to be made to understanding unions as complex social organisms.

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

Jack Fiorito, Irene Padavic and Zachary A. Russell

The question of why workers support unions is one of the most fundamental in employment relations. Using Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior we conduct a selective review…

Abstract

The question of why workers support unions is one of the most fundamental in employment relations. Using Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior we conduct a selective review of literature and evidence on union voting, joining, and participation. We focus primarily on the question of motivation as stemming from self-interest or from pro-social considerations. Secondary attention is given to the influence of others’ views (subjective norms) and worker perceptions that they can achieve desired behaviors (perceived control or self-efficacy). We find support for the notion that workers are concerned with neither member self-interest (“just us”) alone, nor pro-social (“justice”) alone, but rather that they are motivated to form, join, and participate by both considerations. This micro-foundation for considering unions as institutions suggests that unions are neither narrow self-interested institutions nor purely pro-social movements, but “a little bit of both.” We offer propositions and consider implications for theory, practice, and future research.

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: 1 January 2004

Teresa Ghilarducci

Many traditional economists view trade unions as monopolies; unions challenge capital by having control over labor as a production input and threatening to withhold it to…

Abstract

Many traditional economists view trade unions as monopolies; unions challenge capital by having control over labor as a production input and threatening to withhold it to achieve union goals. Yet, unions also strategize around citizenship and consumer roles with political action and consumer boycotts. Little researched is how unions challenge corporate authority by encouraging workers to defer consumption and become owners of capital through pension funds. This new role as capital owners is leveraged through pension fund activism, which challenges corporate decisions that are not much affected by political action, organizing, or collective bargaining. This chapter puts these developments in the context of familiar theories of the economic effect of trade unions and the history of union pension activism.

Details

Authority in Contention
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-037-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Christine A N Horton

Women constitute over 50 per cent of NALGO membership but are still under‐represented at all levels within the union. Previous explanations of trade union activism have…

Abstract

Women constitute over 50 per cent of NALGO membership but are still under‐represented at all levels within the union. Previous explanations of trade union activism have ignored gender differences in union participation. They have not taken the impact of the sexual division of labour within the home and workplace into account. Many unions have failed to recognise the effect this has had on the ability of women to participate fully in the union's organisation. If women are to participate fully their domestic commitments must be taken into account. The union's expectations of its lay officers need to be examined.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Sandra Cockfield

This paper aims to examine the relationship between union renewal strategies and the adoption and implementation of information and communication technologies by trade unions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between union renewal strategies and the adoption and implementation of information and communication technologies by trade unions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research centres on a case study of an Australian trade union, exploring the fit between recent changes to the industrial strategy and information technology strategy. It involved interviews with union officials and a review of union documentation.

Findings

Information and communication technologies have the potential to promote union renewal by enabling new forms of participation and activism. However, to achieve these outcomes the technologies must be part of an integrated union renewal strategy. The internal political processes of the union will shape both the union renewal strategies and the role and use of technology in implementing these strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a single trade union, thus limiting the generality of the conclusions drawn.

Originality/value

The paper concerns a relatively new research area on trade unions and offers a critical perspective on the use of information and communication technologies by trade unions.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Thomas Turner and Daryl D’Art

Trends in union membership between 1990 and 2000 indicate the increasing feminization of the Irish trade union movement in terms of membership. The historical experience…

Abstract

Trends in union membership between 1990 and 2000 indicate the increasing feminization of the Irish trade union movement in terms of membership. The historical experience in industrialised nations is for much of women’s work to be relatively short‐term and marginal to the main labour force. This, it has been suggested, has tended to discourage women workers from adopting a collectivist response to the issues of pay and conditions and so weakening their level of participation in union activities. However, the evidence from a survey of the membership in a general union revealed little difference in the attitudes of men and women in relation to levels of group solidarity, wage earner solidarity and union orientation. On the evidence of this paper there is no indication that the increasing feminization of the Irish trade union movement is having an adverse effect on union activism and solidarity.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2003

Daniel B Cornfield and Holly J McCammon

Labor movements have played a central role in promoting democracy, the expansion of welfare states, and improvements in working conditions in many regions of the world…

Abstract

Labor movements have played a central role in promoting democracy, the expansion of welfare states, and improvements in working conditions in many regions of the world during the last century (Jose, 2002). Despite the central social, political and economic role of labor movements, labor union memberships have declined in many world regions during the last quarter-century. Labor union memberships have declined with increasing global economic competition and capital mobility, the advent of neo-liberal macroeconomic policies, privatization of public services, changes in production technology, the substitution of casual, flexible and contingent employment arrangements for formal, bureaucratic internal labor markets, the restructuring of national economies from manufacturing to services, and mounting employer resistance to unionization (Clawson & Clawson, 1999; Cornfield & Fletcher, 2001; Griffin et al., 1990; Jose, 2002; Olney, 1996; Western, 1997, 1998).

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Ambareen Beebeejaun and Jushveer Koobloll

“Shareholder activism works when shareholders understand something about the characteristics of the business that the board doesn’t”. As complex the term shareholder…

Abstract

Purpose

“Shareholder activism works when shareholders understand something about the characteristics of the business that the board doesn’t”. As complex the term shareholder activism may seem, it demonstrates a very simple phenomenon of how shareholder take control of a situation to turn it in their favor. The whole world has taken an activism “twist” where every person has a word to say. The same characteristic of the society is showcased in this paper where engagement of shareholder is questioned whether it helps to promote effective corporate governance. Given the fact that Mauritius has a rather low shareholder activism framework, this research aims to depict the international picture of the issue at different levels to reach a consensus with the local market. It was a major challenge as very little research has been conducted to accurately contrast shareholder activism with corporate governance. However, the international standards aim at giving a clear picture of how the shareholder activism actually functions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research has adopted a black letter approach by analyzing relevant laws and legislations governing corporate governance matters in Mauritius and the USA, Malaysia, France and South Africa. Thereafter, a comparative analysis was made between Mauritius laws and the aforementioned countries. Recommendations were then put forward on the subject matter which is shareholder activism.

Findings

Research has shown development in corporate governance alongside the increase in shareholder activism. However, these research studies fail to prove that the development is because of shareholder activism itself. In fact, it could be because of increase in corporate intellects, removal of trade barriers, sustainable corporate practices and many such changes that have affected the corporate market somehow. Hence, it is difficult to conclude, with certainty, that the driver of good corporate governance is, in particular, the phenomenon of shareholder activism. Nevertheless, many result of shareholder activism has demonstrated a rather positive impact on the ongoing of the corporate dealings and on a personal note, it can be said that shareholder activism is a domain where much research and development should be effected as it represents a promising improvement in the way corporations are governed.

Originality/value

The concept of shareholder activism is quite new to the Mauritius legislation. There has not been research done on whether shareholder activism, particularly, is the reason for corporate success or failure. In this light, this paper aims to analyze shareholder activism practices in other countries and puts forward recommendation in the Mauritius context which may be of use to stakeholders concerned.

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Peter Prowse, Ana Lopes and Ray Fells

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate different approaches to effective campaigning in support of the Living Wage and so this paper contributes to the broader debate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate different approaches to effective campaigning in support of the Living Wage and so this paper contributes to the broader debate over the nature of the union movement’s engagement with community groups in pursuit of workplace and social issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a systematic comparison of a union-led and a community-led campaign, drawing primarily upon interview and survey data.

Findings

Though different, both campaigns met with a measure of success in improving employee pay and in increasing union membership suggesting a pragmatic approach to the building of union-community relationships.

Practical implications

The paper shows the need for campaigners to adopt a strategic approach in identifying the target for their campaign, and also the importance of shaping a persuasive argument.

Originality/value

The paper reaffirms the importance of traditional union-led campaigning alongside campaigning through engagement with community groups and so offers a broader framework for exploring the relationships between union and community groups.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 26 February 2016

Sarah Barriage

This chapter explores the relationship between unionization in the information sector and the concepts of human rights and social justice.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the relationship between unionization in the information sector and the concepts of human rights and social justice.

Methodology/approach

Recent trends in unionization rates in the United States and Canada are examined, as well as examples of union activity in the information sector drawn from the Union Library Workers blog. The concept of social justice unionism and its applicability to the information sector is discussed.

Findings

While overall unionization rates in both the United States and Canada are in decline, unionization rates in libraries and other information institutions in both countries are among the highest of any industrial sector. Unions continue to engage in activities that promote the rights of their workers and the people who benefit from the services these workers provide.

Social implications

Social justice unionism offers a way for library workers to actively promote social justice for all, not just their workers and their patrons, through a commitment to broader issues affecting their communities at large.

Originality/value

Much of the work on unionization in the information sector focuses on “bread-and-butter” issues related directly to unionized workers and the benefits that unionization brings to both the workers and their workplaces. This chapter explores the role of the union in promoting human rights and social justice on a broader scale, introducing a discussion of the concept of social justice unionism.

Details

Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-057-2

Keywords

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