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Are Unions Good or Bad for Organizations? The Moderating Role of Management's Response

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Abstract

Union impact research has been hindered by an underdeveloped conceptualization of management response, contributing to inconclusive empirical findings. Integrating the collective voice/institutional response model with the appropriateness framework, we propose that an employee-focused business strategy is a critical moderating variable in the relationship between union density and organizational outcomes that mitigates the negative effects of unions and enhances the positive effects by sending a clear signal of management's intentions to co-operate. Using a panel dataset of Canadian organizations over six years, we provide empirical evidence to support our arguments. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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