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Job Satisfaction, Trade Unions, and Exit-Voice Revisited


  • Keith A. Bender
  • Peter J. Sloane


Many studies have found that unionized workers express less job satisfaction than nonunion workers. The “exit-voice†explanation of this phenomenon is that dissatisfied nonunion workers tend to quit, whereas dissatisfied union workers tend to remain in their jobs and express their complaints through various voice mechanisms provided by their union. Furthermore, this “voiced†dissatisfaction, animated by the hope of effecting change, is said to be distinct from “genuine†dissatisfaction. This study, the first to examine the exit-voice issue in Britain, expands on the set of independent variables used by similar North American and Australian studies. When they control for industrial relations climate, the authors find that the negative relationship between unionization and satisfaction dwindles to insignificance in many cases. They conclude that union workers' relative dissatisfaction is in most cases entirely “genuine†and stems from poor industrial relations or from unions forming where satisfaction would be low anyway.

Suggested Citation

  • Keith A. Bender & Peter J. Sloane, 1998. "Job Satisfaction, Trade Unions, and Exit-Voice Revisited," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 222-240, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:51:y:1998:i:2:p:222-240

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