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Collective bargaining: crisis and its consequences for American society

Authors


  • Thomas A. Kochan is George M. Bunker Professor of Management and Co-Director, Institute for Work and Employment Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Thomas A. Kochan, Sloan School of Management, MIT, Institute for Work and Employment Research, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142-1347, USA; email: tkochan@mit.edu

ABSTRACT

The term ‘collective bargaining’ was first used extensively and developed in full form by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. As the intellectual father and mother of British industrial relations and through their multiple contributions to research, government and policy making, and university affairs, the Webbs served as role models for multiple generations of British scholars. Willy Brown, scholar, educational leader and active public servant, stands as our generation's Webbs' equivalent. In all three domains he has carried on the Webbs' legacy with the highest distinction. So it is fitting that one essay in this collection honouring Willy be devoted to an examination of the current state of this institution the Webbs called collective bargaining. I am honoured to present an analysis of collective bargaining, albeit one limited to its effects, the consequences of its decline and its potential future in the United States.

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