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Worker Behavior on the Job: A Multi-Methods Study of Labor Cooperation with Management


  • Deborah Balser


  • Anne Winkler



In the 2000s, the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) called for labor-management cooperation from its rank and file members in response to concerns about increasing competition from the nonunionized electrical contracting sector. The IBEW’s leadership implored members to cooperate by altering their behavior on the job, thereby modifying the effort bargain between workers and management. To date, this type of cooperation with management has been little studied. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected from one Local of the IBEW, this study analyzes how workers responded to the leadership’s call and the factors guiding this behavior. Among the findings, cooperative behavior on the job is found to be strongly associated with workers’ attitudes, as measured by their commitments to their occupation and to their union. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah Balser & Anne Winkler, 2012. "Worker Behavior on the Job: A Multi-Methods Study of Labor Cooperation with Management," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 388-413, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:388-413
    DOI: 10.1007/s12122-012-9133-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert C. Hoell, 2004. "How Employee Involvement Affects Union Commitment," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(2), pages 267-278, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Chinloy & Daniel Winkler, 2012. "Contracts, Individual Revenue and Performance," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 545-562, December.


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