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Union Organizing as a Mobilizing Strategy: The Impact of Social Identity and Transformational Leadership on the Collectivism of Union Members

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  • Christina Cregan
  • Timothy Bartram
  • Pauline Stanton

Abstract

This article investigates the effect of union organizing as a mobilizing strategy on the collectivism of union members. We examine the impact of a worker's social identification with fellow members and the transformational leadership qualities of the local union representative. We employ regression analysis with tests of mediation to analyse the survey responses of c. 1,000 rank and file members of a major professional union, collected in July 2004 during a mobilization campaign. Social identification and transformational leadership were associated with members' union loyalty and willingness to work for the union. Social identification acted as a mediating variable in both cases. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina Cregan & Timothy Bartram & Pauline Stanton, 2009. "Union Organizing as a Mobilizing Strategy: The Impact of Social Identity and Transformational Leadership on the Collectivism of Union Members," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(4), pages 701-722, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:47:y:2009:i:4:p:701-722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Patrick C. Flood & Thomas Turner & Paul Willman, 1996. "Union Presence, Union Service and Membership Participation," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 34(3), pages 415-431, September.
    2. Boas Shamir & Robert J. House & Michael B. Arthur, 1993. "The Motivational Effects of Charismatic Leadership: A Self-Concept Based Theory," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 577-594, November.
    3. Bob Carter, 2000. "Adoption of the Organising Model in British Trade Unions: Some Evidence from Manufacturing, Science and Finance (MSF)," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 14(1), pages 117-136, March.
    4. Alison L. Booth, 1985. "The Free Rider Problem and a Social Custom Model of Trade Union Membership," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 253-261.
    5. Vidu Badigannavar & John Kelly, 2005. "Why Are Some Union Organizing Campaigns More Successful Than Others?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 515-535, September.
    6. Christina Cregan & Stewart Johnston, 1990. "An Industrial Relations Approach to the Free Rider Problem: Young People and Trade Union Membership in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 84-104, March.
    7. Christopher L. Erickson & Catherine L. Fisk & Ruth Milkman & Daniel J. B. Mitchell & Kent Wong, 2002. "Justice for Janitors in Los Angeles: Lessons from Three Rounds of Negotiations," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 543-567, September.
    8. Steven L. Blader, 2007. "What Leads Organizational Members to Collectivize? Injustice and Identification as Precursors of Union Certification," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(1), pages 108-126, February.
    9. Andy Charlwood, 2004. "The New Generation of Trade Union Leaders and Prospects for Union Revitalization," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 379-397, June.
    10. Christina Cregan, 2005. "Can Organizing Work? An Inductive Analysis of Individual Attitudes toward Union Membership," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(2), pages 282-304, January.
    11. Andy Charlwood, 2002. "Why Do Non-union Employees Want to Unionize? Evidence from Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 40(3), pages 463-491, September.
    12. Nicholas Twigg & J. Fuller & Kim Hester, 2008. "Transformational Leadership in Labor Organizations: The Effects on Union Citizenship Behaviors," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 27-41, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carbonai, Davide & Drago, Carlo, 2014. "What is a Workers’ Referendum for? Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 59950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Paul Blyton & Jean Jenkins, 2013. "Mobilizing Protest: Insights from Two Factory Closures," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 51(4), pages 733-753, December.

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