Union Management Relations

15863 Words64 Pages
I. Introduction The objective of this paper is to build further on our understanding of union effects by examining what unions do to managerial practice in the workplace. Unions can be an instrument of social change but even when they play a larger role in society, their core activity remains focused at the workplace. Their principal engagement is with management though their actions may extend to lobbying, politics, and the community at both local and international levels. Therefore, in any consideration of the question, what do unions do to the workplace, it is important to examine the impact of unions on management in general and on human resource management (HRM), in particular. The main focus for Freeman and Medoff, in their 1984…show more content…
This section attempts to integrate and clarify a variety of explanations offered in the past. Second, it updates the SHL study by examining the empirical evidence accumulated by various studies since the early 1980s. The second half of the paper builds on the conceptual framework to survey the empirical evidence accumulated on union effects on managerial practice in HRM and other related workplace policies. In examining union impact, the focus of this paper is on managerial practice rather than on employee or firm-level outcomes. For example, this paper does not include topics such as the effect of unions on productivity or the effects of seniority on employee outcomes. II. Conceptual Framework Union impact on management is framed by two dynamic processes: formation of underlying preferences of each party and the interaction between the two parties as each tries to pursue its goals. When unions arrive on the scene by organizing workers, they tend to drive up wages. In the popular mind, union preferences have been understood foremost in terms of obtaining “more” for their members. Empirical evidence confirms that unions use their monopoly power to force employers to pay better wages and benefits (Freeman and Medoff, 1984). However, unions do strive for and achieve other goals that are equally important to them and their members, namely, fair treatment from management. This aspect of unionism is especially important in considering the
Get Access