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Union Voice

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  • Addison, John T.

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Belfield, Clive R.

    (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

This paper offers a critical evaluation of the notion of collective voice, advanced by Freeman and Medoff (1984) in their pioneering contribution What Do Unions Do? It takes note of theoretical and empirical work supportive of/consistent with the collective voice/institutional response model, and tracks some development of the model. Equally, although much criticism of What Do Unions Do? has been wide of the mark, there are critical areas in which the model is deficient. These lacunae include, but are not restricted to, the lingering imprecision of collective voice; the problem of bargaining power which calls into question the distinction between collective voice/institutional response and the monopoly face of unionism; the over-emphasis upon worker dissatisfaction; and, relatedly, the neglect of individual voice. The bottom line is that the notion of union voice is urgently in need of restatement if it is to continue to shape research into the economic consequences of unions.

Suggested Citation

  • Addison, John T. & Belfield, Clive R., 2003. "Union Voice," IZA Discussion Papers 862, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp862
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1979. "The Two Faces of Unionism," NBER Working Papers 0364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Machin, Stephen & Stewart, Mark, 1996. "Trade Unions and Financial Performance," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 213-241, April.
    3. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. García-Serrano, Carlos & Malo, Miguel A., 2009. "The impact of union direct voice on voluntary and involuntary absenteeism," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 372-383, March.
    2. Fathi Fakhfakh & Virginie Pérotin & Andrew Robinson, 2011. "Workplace Change and Productivity: Does Employee Voice Make a Difference?," Chapters, in: Susan Hayter (ed.), The Role of Collective Bargaining in the Global Economy, chapter 5, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Williams, Nicolas, 2009. "Seniority, experience, and wages in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 272-283, June.
    4. Hirsch, Boris & Schank, Thorsten & Schnabel, Claus, 2009. "Works Councils and Separations: Voice, Monopoly, and Insurance Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 4126, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2011. "Civil Society And The State: The Interplay Between Cooperation And Minimum Wage Regulation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42, February.
    6. John T. Addison, 2005. "The Determinants Of Firm Performance: Unions, Works Councils, And Employee Involvement/High‐Performance Work Practices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 406-450, July.
    7. Andrea Garnero & François Rycx & Isabelle Terraz, 2020. "Productivity and Wage Effects of Firm‐Level Collective Agreements: Evidence from Belgian Linked Panel Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 58(4), pages 936-972, December.
    8. John Forth & Alex Bryson & Anitha George, 2016. "Explaining Cross-National Variation in Workplace Employee Representation," DoQSS Working Papers 16-10, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    9. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2004. "The Course of Research into the Economic Consequences of German Works Councils," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 255-281, June.
    10. Richard B. Freeman, 2005. "What Do Unions Do?-- The 2004 M-Brane Stringtwister Edition," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 26(4), pages 641-668, November.
    11. Schenk, Tom, Jr., 2007. "The effects of graduate-student unionization," ISU General Staff Papers 2007010108000015881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. David Lewis & Wim Vandekerckhove, 2018. "Trade Unions and the Whistleblowing Process in the UK: An Opportunity for Strategic Expansion?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 148(4), pages 835-845, April.
    13. Bruce Kaufman, 2014. "Explaining Breadth and Depth of Employee Voice across Firms: A Voice Factor Demand Model," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 296-319, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    high performance work practices; contract enforcement; public goods; institutional response; collective/individual voice; unions; employee involvement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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