Managerial Responsiveness to Union and Nonunion Worker Voice in Britain


  • Alex Bryson

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      Policy Studies Institute, London. E-mail: I would like to thank Jeffrey Smith, Michael Handel, and David Levine; two anonymous referees; and participants at a PSI seminar for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. I acknowledge the Department of Trade and Industry, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, and the Policy Studies Institute as the originators of the 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey data and the Data Archive at the University of Essex as the distributor of the data. None of these organizations or individuals bears any responsibility for my analysis and interpretations of the data.


Over the last two decades, there has been a switch in British workplaces away from union voice and representative worker voice more generally toward direct employee involvement and nonunion representative forms of voice. This article assesses the implications of this switch for the effectiveness of worker voice, as measured by employee perceptions of managerial responsiveness. In general, perceptions of managerial responsiveness are better among employees with nonunion voice than they are among employees with union voice.