Between consultation and collective bargaining? The changing role of non-union employee representatives: a case study from the finance sector


  • Alan Tuckman,

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    • Correspondence should be addressed to Alan Tuckman, School of Business and Economics, University of Loughborough, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK; email:

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    • Alan Tuckman is Visiting Fellow in School of Business and Economics, University of Loughborough and Honorary Fellow in Employment Relations, University of Keele;
  • Jeremé Snook

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    • Jeremé Snook is Senior Lecturer in Law in Sheffield Hallam University.


This article reviews the roles and activities of non-union employee representatives (NERs) acting as forum officers in a large Internet finance company. Currently there is little academic coverage concerning NERs in this sector, including their contributions to employment relations, their motivations and orientations towards representative role and activities, or relations with management and fellow employees. An important precondition to answering one of the main questions asked of NERs is whether such representation constitutes the foundation of some nascent trade unionism, or whether by acting as forum representatives, they are positioning themselves to support management agendas and outlook? The range of data from this article's longitudinal case study, indicating time usage including individual and collective representation, suggests that NERs allegiances and roles remain ambiguous, existing as they do in the intersection between consultation and collective bargaining. An important factor may be their capacity for independent action and independence from senior management.