Union Commitment and Activism in Britain and the United States: Searching for Synthesis and Synergy for Renewal

Authors


  • Gregor Gall is at the Work and Employment Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire. Jack Fiorito is at the College of Business, Florida State University, and the Work and Employment Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire.

Abstract

We propose a fuller synthesis between two relatively disjointed literatures to create synergy. Union commitment research has a long tradition and a relatively rigorous orientation grounded in industrial psychology. Recently, it has been eclipsed by emerging research on union renewal, and specifically that on union organizing. Renewal research has largely ignored union commitment research even though union renewal literature stresses the importance of activism, and this concept is strongly linked to commitment. A critical synthesis of these literatures yields progress in terms of addressing key qualitative and quantitative aspects of the contemporary crisis of labour unionism. A tentative framework is constructed that stipulates the main components and variables, and offers guidance for future research.

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