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Trading places: employers, unions and the manufacture of voice

Bryson, Alex, Gomez, Rafael and Willman, Paul (2008) Trading places: employers, unions and the manufacture of voice. CEP Discussion Paper, No. 884. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 9780853282914

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2008 The authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: L - Industrial Organization > L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior > L25 - Firm Performance: Size, Diversification and Scope, Age, Profit, and Sales
M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting > M5 - Personnel Economics > M54 - Labor Management (team formation, worker empowerment, job design, tasks and authority, work arrangemetns, job satisfaction)
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J51 - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J52 - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation; Collective Bargaining
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining > J53 - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J5 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
Sets: Research centres and groups > Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour Group
Departments > Management
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: No. 884
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2010 15:45
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28501/

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