Union Influence on Internal Organizational Decisions: An Empirical Analysis


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Mitchell W. Fields, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4.


The development of appropriate models of organizational decision making requires a complete determination of the different groups that affect the decision-making process. The present investigation examines the influence of union officials as a group on internal organizational decisions. The rank and file membership of three local unions (N= 1324) and their first level supervisors (N= 205) were surveyed regarding the perceived influence of five different groups within the organizational hierarchy. A methodology developed by Tannenbaum (1968) and his associates was modified to include lower-level union representatives as one of five groups who potentially wield influence over organizational decisions. The results of this investigation determined that union representatives are seen as possessing significant levels of influence regarding microlevel organizational decisions. Additional analyses revealed that first-level supervisors believed that union representatives possessed more influence in organizational decisions than they possessed as a group. The implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.