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The long goodbye: new establishments and the fall of union voice in Britain

Willman, Paul, Bryson, Alex and Gomez, Rafael (2007) The long goodbye: new establishments and the fall of union voice in Britain. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18 (7). pp. 1318-1334. ISSN 0958-5192

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09585190701393863


This paper argues that the secular decline in union voice in the UK cannot be fully explained without understanding the role of employers in choosing and modifying voice regimes. The paper presents a model of employee voice; the model assumes regimes are chosen by firms on the basis of positive net benefits, and that once adopted there are switching costs associated with changing regimes. The paper presents data from WERS, which is then analysed in terms of the model. We find a rise in voice regimes that do not include unions (i.e. the growth of so-called non-union voice) and a clear decline in voice regimes involving unions, particularly union-only voice. Ecological factors (i.e. new entrants and the demise of older workplaces) are primary in explaining the rise in non-union voice, whereas the shift to dual forms of voice (made up of union and non-union regimes side by side) was primarily the result of switches undertaken by union only workplaces as early as the 1950s.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2007 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Management
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2010 13:49
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:36

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