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The comparative advantage of non-union voice in Britain, 1980-2004

Willman, Paul and Bryson, Alex and Kretschmer, Tobias and Gomez, Rafael (2013) The comparative advantage of non-union voice in Britain, 1980-2004. Industrial Relations: a Journal of Economy and Society, 52 (S1). pp. 194-220. ISSN 1468-232X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/irel.12001


Non-union direct voice has replaced union representative voice as the primary avenue for employee voice in the British private sector. This study explains this development by providing a framework for examining the relationship between employee voice and workplace outcomes. Voice is associated with lower voluntary turnover, especially in the case of union voice. However, union voice is also associated with greater workplace conflict. We argue changes in voice in Britain are not best understood using a simple union/non-union dichotomy. Union effects on workplace outcomes and the incidence of human resource management hinge on whether it coexists at the workplace with non-union voice in what we term a “dual” system. In the first part of the 21st century, these dual voice systems were performing at least as well as non-union only regimes, suggesting that the rise of non-union regimes is attribu` to something other than clear comparative performance advantages over other forms of voice.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Wiley-Blackwell
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2011 15:04
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2014 08:49
Projects: 108294
Funders: Finnish Work Environment Fund

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