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This paper explores the decline of union membership within partially organized firms. Using data from two Conference Board surveys of labor relations practices (1977 and 1983), the authors test a series of propositions concerning the effects of corporate industrial relations values and strategies and workplace innovations on union representation and membership. The results show that whereas the average firm reduced the number of workers represented by unions by approximately 977 from 1977 to 1983, firms that placed a high priority on union avoidance reduced union representation by an average of 2,647 workers over the same period. Moreover, the typical firm that emphasized union avoidance reduced the probability that its new facilities would be organized from approximately 15 percent to less than 1 percent.


Originally published:

Kochan, Thomas A., Robert B. McKersie, and John Chalykoff. "The Effects Of Corporate Strategy And Workplace Innovations On Union Representation." Industrial & Labor Relations Review 39.4 (1986): 487.



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