Bryson, Alex, Gomez, Rafael and Willman, Paul
Trading places: employers, unions and the manufacture of voice.
CEP Discussion Paper,
Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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.
||© 2008 The authors
||worker voice; trade unions; quits; employment relations; labour productivity; financial performance; industrial action
|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
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