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“Voice Within Voice”: Members’ Voice Responses to Dissatisfaction with Their Union



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    •  The author’s affiliation is Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at The University of Melbourne, Australia and Affiliate Professor, ESC Rennes School of Business, France. E-mail: This study has been significantly improved as a result of valuable comments provided on earlier versions of the paper by Donna Buttigieg, Peter Fairbrother, Dan Gallagher, Richard Mitchell, Margaret Levi, Ed Snape, and Peter Turnbull and detailed comments from anonymous referees. An earlier version of the manuscript was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.


While the role of unions as collective voice is well understood, how union members themselves voice their preferences within their union is not. This study represents an important step in understanding this critical dimension of the union–member relation. Using survey data from an Australian union, I investigate how union members voice dissatisfaction with their union. Union loyalty, perceived opportunities to voice, union responsiveness, and collectivist ideology predicted willingness to voice directly to the union. Perceived union support and instrumentality did not predict members’ willingness to voice directly to the union but were associated with other voice responses.