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Public Sector Labor Relations Scholarship: Is There a “There,” There?


Norma M. Riccucci is a professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University, Newark Campus. Her research interests lie in the broad area of public management. She is a NAPA fellow.


Public sector union membership is thriving compared to the private sector. Moreover, public employee unions play a significant role in policy making at every level of government. Yet research on public sector labor relations is sporadic and uneven, perhaps negligible. Why so? This article surveys the literature on public sector unionism and seeks to answer that question. Its conclusion points to a course of action for renewing interest in this seminal field among public administration, management, and policy scholars.