Employer responses to union organising: patterns and effects

Heery, E. and Simms, M. (2010) Employer responses to union organising: patterns and effects. Human Resource Management Journal, 20(1), pp. 3-22. (doi: 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2009.00102.x)

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This article presents original research on employer responses to trade union organising campaigns in the United Kingdom. The evidence indicates that there is no single response, with employers in some cases seeking to block and in others support union activity. These different patterns are strongly path dependent and reflect the prior degree of exposure to trade unionism of workplaces targeted for organising. Another finding is that employer responses co‐vary with union approaches to organising, such that when the employer adopts adversarial tactics so does the union. The militancy of both parties, it seems, is mutually reinforcing. Finally, the evidence points to substantial influence of employer responses over the outcomes of organising. When employers are supportive then campaigns tend to be more successful, measured on a range of criteria. When the employer is hostile unions find it difficult to make progress and encounter particular difficulties in securing recognition.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simms, Professor Melanie
Authors: Heery, E., and Simms, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Human Resource Management Journal
ISSN (Online):1748-8583
Published Online:23 December 2009

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