Trading Places: Employers, Unions and the Manufacture of Voice
AbstractUsing nationally representative workplace data for Britain we show that over the last quarter century union voice - especially union-only voice - has been associated with poorer climate, more industrial action, poorer financial performance and poorer labour productivity than nonunion voice and, in particular, direct voice. On the other hand, union-based voice regimes have experienced lower quit rates than non-union and "no voice" regimes, as theory predicts. Over that time, while the workplace incidence of voice has remained constant, with roughly 8 workplaces out of 10 providing some form of voice, there has been a big shift from union to non-union voice, particularly direct employer-made voice. Thus employers are prepared generally to bear the costs of voice provision and manifest a reluctance to engage with their workforce without voice mechanisms in place. The associations between non-union voice mechanisms and desirable workplace outcomes suggest that these costs may be lower than the benefits voice generates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0884.
Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
worker voice; trade unions; quits; employment relations; labour productivity; financial performance; industrial action;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
- J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
- J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
- J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
- M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2008-08-31 (Business Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2008-08-31 (Labour Economics)
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- Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2009. "How Does Innovation Affect Worker Well-being?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0953, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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