Unions and job quality in the UK

Simms, M. (2017) Unions and job quality in the UK. Work and Occupations, 44(1), pp. 47-67. (doi: 10.1177/0730888415618729)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This article presents a counterpoint to a structuralist view of job quality and argues that it can be understood as an outcome of contested power dynamics of interest representation within institutions of labor market regulation. The article presents studies of unions in two sectors in the UK (health care and industrial cleaning) where bad jobs are common. It examines how unions have sought to regulate job quality through representing new interests within existing institutions and by extending institutional regulation to new groups. The evidence highlights the contested nature of these decisions and the importance of collective actors in exercising agency in seeking to improve job quality. The evidence shows how new interests can be promoted within institutions to (seek to) improve job quality, despite internal resistance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simms, Professor Melanie
Authors: Simms, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Work and Occupations
ISSN (Online):1552-8464
Published Online:26 November 2015

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record