Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

UK unions, collective action and the cost disease

Willman, Paul, Bryson, Alex and Forth, John (2020) UK unions, collective action and the cost disease. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 58 (2). 447 - 470. ISSN 0007-1080

[img] Text (UK unions, collectvie action and the cost of disease) - Accepted Version
Download (612kB)

Identification Number: 10.1111/bjir.12471


This article looks at the financial resources of trade unions in the UK. The core argument is that trade unions are subject to ‘cost disease’ pressures such that costs rise over the long term above the general level of inflation. They have this property because of the difficulty in solving first- and second-order collective action problems. First-order problems refer to the problems of initiating collective action and second-order problems refer to the management of collective action organizations. Both UK aggregate and case-study data — from one of the largest UK unions, Unite — are presented to illustrate the cost disease problem and to suggest options for its management. In conclusion, the wider implications of ‘cost disease’ pressures for unions are assessed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: Management
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 23 May 2019 15:42
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 02:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics