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Looking for HRM/union substitution: evidence from British workplaces

Machin, Stephen and Wood, Stephen (2004) Looking for HRM/union substitution: evidence from British workplaces. CEPDP, 605. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753017067

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Abstract

In this paper we test the HRM/union substitution hypothesis that human resource management (HRM) practices act as a substitute for unionization. We use British workplace data between 1980 and 1998 which allows us to examine for the first time whether increased HRM incidence has coincided with union decline. First, we compare changes over time in the incidence of HRM practices across union and non-union sectors, finding little cross-time difference occurring between sectors. Second, we ask whether newer workplaces (strongly shown by other research as more likely to be non-union) have experienced differentially faster HRM incidence; we are unable to find much evidence in support of this. Third, longitudinal changes also fail to pick up any evidence of faster union decline in workplaces or industries with faster take up of HRM practices. We find no evidence of HRM substitution operating in the hypothesised way of it replacing unions and conclude that increased HRM incidence does not seem to be an important factor underpinning union decline in Britain.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2004 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J51 - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for the Economics of Education (CEE)
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 605
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2008 09:45
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19999/

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