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Non-union employee representation in the United Kingdom: Management strategies and union responses.

Gollan, Paul J (2007) Non-union employee representation in the United Kingdom: Management strategies and union responses. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The introduction of the European Directive on information and consultation and its implementation into United Kingdom (UK) law has increased the focus on workplace representation arrangements. However, existing research into non-union representation (NER) arrangements in the UK is limited. This research examines NER arrangements in nine UK firms and assesses their effectiveness in representing the needs of employees and employers. The research explores these issues by using a multi-variant analysis including employee surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation and internal company documentation. The research attempts to address a number of research questions. First, what are the management strategies towards and objectives of NER arrangements. Second, are NER arrangements a complement to union representation or do they act as a substitute for union-based voice arrangements. Third, how effective are NER and union arrangements perceived to be at representing the interests of and providing voice for employees. Fourth, what are the perceived workplace outcomes of both NER and union-based voice arrangements. Fifth, what are the union responses and approaches towards NER arrangements. Sixth, what are the potential implications for employers, unions and NER-based voice arrangements in the future. Overall, the evidence presented in this research questions the legitimacy of NER forms as alternatives to unions in effectively representing the interests of employees. The findings would also suggest that while trade unions may provide greater voice than NER arrangements, the strength of that voice is dependent on their responses to such arrangements and effectiveness in representing employees' interests at the workplace. And that in turn depends on the union being perceived by the workforce as both representative and able to act independently. From a management perspective, allowing influence over workplace issues and at times an acknowledgement of differing interests may also be essential conditions for more effective decision-making processes in organisations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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