Trading places: employers, unions and the manufacture of voice
Using 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.
|Date of creation:||2008|
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- Alex Bryson & Paul Willman & Rafael Gomez & Tobias Kretschmer, 2007. "Employee Voice and Human Resource Management: An Empirical Analysis using British Data," PSI Research Discussion Series 27, Policy Studies Institute, UK.
- Stephen Machin & Stephen Wood, 2005. "Human Resource Management as a Substitute for Trade Unions in British Workplaces," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(2), pages 201-218, January.
- Alex Bryson & Rafael Gomez, 2003.
"Why have workers stopped joining unions?,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Alex Bryson & Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "Worker Needs and Voice in the US and the UK," NBER Working Papers 12310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alex Bryson & P Willman, 2007.
"Union Organization in Great Britain,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0774, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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