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Regional Competitiveness: Labor-Management Relations, Workplace Practices, and Workforce Quality

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  • Jack Kleinhenz
  • Russ Smith

Abstract

This paper examines regional competitiveness as it relates to regional labor-management relations. A survey of recent literature provides perspective and secondary evidence regarding labor-management relations, workplace practices, and workforce quality. It does not answer the question, “Are unions good or bad?” Rather, it investigates the themes of productivity, wage premium, job security, innovation, communication, and economic development—the larger picture to consider when evaluating the impact of unions. The information, issues, and data gained from the literature survey provided a background for several case studies that took the form of structured, group interviews that included both selected management and union representatives. Interview findings provide evidence that union-management cooperation in the workplace is both feasible and productive, supporting findings in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Jack Kleinhenz & Russ Smith, 2011. "Regional Competitiveness: Labor-Management Relations, Workplace Practices, and Workforce Quality," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 46(2), pages 111-124, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:46:y:2011:i:2:p:111-124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Constantine Manasakis & Vasileios Zikos, 2007. "Unions' and Firms' Attitudes Towards Research Joint Ventures: When Will the Incentives Be Aligned?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(1), pages 135-156, March.
    2. Bruce E. Kaufman, 2005. "What Do Unions Do?--Evaluation and Commentary," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 26(4), pages 555-596, November.
    3. John DiNardo & David S. Lee, 2004. "Economic Impacts of New Unionization on Private Sector Employers: 1984–2001," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1383-1441.
    4. Barry T. Hirsch, 2004. "What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 415-456, July.
    5. Bruce E. Kaufman, 2004. "What Unions Do: Insights from Economic Theory," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 351-382, July.
    6. Elisabetta Magnani & David Prentice, 2006. "Unionization and Input Flexibility in U.S. Manufacturing, 1973 – 1996," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(3), pages 386-407, April.
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