Advertisement

Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 263–284 | Cite as

Activism and Willingness to Help in Union Organizing: Who Are the Activists?

  • Jack FioritoEmail author
  • Gregor Gall
  • Arthur D. Martinez
Article

Abstract

Research on union renewal often cites a critical role for lay activism. This study examines determinants of activism and activism intentions among a broadly representative sample of U.S. union members. Hypotheses are developed from theory and previous research on union commitment and participation. Results for current activism are generally consistent with prior work. Extending the model to future intentions to help with organizing, an interesting contrast is that pro-union attitude influences appear much more important than do union instrumentality perceptions. This suggests that “covenant” rather than “exchange” concerns are more salient for this form of activism. Findings for ideological orientation support this interpretation.

Keywords

Unions Activism Organizing 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors wish to thank Sheldon Friedman and the AFL-CIO for assisting in obtaining the data used in this study. They also are grateful to Caroline Kreimer Jernigan for assistance in developing computer programs to access the data.

References

  1. Ajzen I, Fishbein M (1977) Attitude-behavior relations: a theoretical analysis and review of empirical research. Psychol Bull 84(5):888–918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bamberger PA, Kluger AN, Suchard R (1999) The antecedents and consequences of union commitment: a meta-analysis. Acad Manage J 42(3):304–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clark PF (2000) Building more effective unions. Cornell University Press, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen J (1992) A power primer. Psychol Bull 112(1):155–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Converse PE (1964) The nature of beliefs systems in mass publics. In: Apter D (ed) Ideology and discontent. Free Press, New York, pp 206–261Google Scholar
  6. de Turberville S (2004) Does the “organizing model” represent a credible union renewal strategy? Work Employ Soc 18(4):775–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickens WT, Wholey DR, Robinson JC (1987) Correlates of union support in NLRB Elections. Ind Relat 26(3):240–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fairbrother P (2000) British trade unions facing the future. Cap & Cl 71:47–78Google Scholar
  9. Fiorito J (2004) Union renewal and the organizing model in the United Kingdom. Labor Stud J 29(2):21–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fiorito J, Gallagher DG, Greer CR (1986) Determinants of unionism: a review of the literature. In: Rowland KM, Ferris GR (eds) Research in personnel and human resource management, vol 4. JAI, Greenwich, pp 269–306Google Scholar
  11. Fiorito J, Jarley P, Delaney JT (1995) National union effectiveness: measures and influences. Ind Labor Relat Rev 48(4):613–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fishbein M, Ajzen I (1975) Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research. Addison-Wesley, ReadingGoogle Scholar
  13. Fullagar CJ, Gallagher DG, Clark PF, Carroll AE (2004) Union commitment and participation: a 10-year longitudinal study. J Appl Psychol 89(4):730–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fuller J, Hester K (1998) The effect of labor relations climate on the union participation process. J Labor Res 14(1):171–187Google Scholar
  15. Gall G, Fiorito J (2009) Union commitment and union renewal. Paper presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  16. Gallagher DG, Strauss G (1991) Union attitudes and participation. In: Strauss G, Gallagher DG, Fiorito J (eds) The State of the unions. Industrial Relations Research Association, Madison, pp 139–174Google Scholar
  17. Getman J, Goldberg S, Herman J (1976) Union representation elections: law and reality. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Godard J (2008) Union formation. In: Blyton P, Bacon N, Fiorito J, Heery E (eds) The Sage handbook of industrial relations. Sage, London, pp 377–405Google Scholar
  19. Goeddeke FX Jr, Kammeyer-Mueller JD (2010) Perceived support in a dual organizational environment: union participation in a university setting. J Organ Behav 31:65–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gordon ME, Philpot JW, Burt RE, Thompson CA, Spiller WE (1980) Commitment to the union: development of a measure and an examination of its correlates. J Appl Psychol 65:479–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heery E (2003) Evolution, renewal, agency: developments in the theory of trade unions. In: Ackers P, Wilkinson A (eds) Understanding work and employment. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Hemmasi M, Graf LA (1993) Determinants of faculty voting behavior in union representation elections: a multivariate model. J Manage 19(1):13–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hickey R, Kuruvilla S, Lakhani T (2010) No panacea for success: member activism, organising, and union renewal. Br J Ind Relat 48(1):53–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jost JT, Glaser J, Kruglanski AW, Sulloway F (2003) Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychol Bull 129(3):339–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kelloway EK, Barling J (1993) Members participation in local union activities: measurement, prediction and replication. J Appl Psychol 78:262–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kochan TA (1980) Collective bargaining and industrial relations: from theory to policy and practice. Irwin, HomewoodGoogle Scholar
  27. Kochan TA, Katz HC, McKersie RB (1986) The transformation of American industrial relations. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuruvilla S, Fiorito J (1994) Who will help? Willingness to work for the union. Ind Relat 49(3):548–575Google Scholar
  29. Lester RA (1958) As unions mature: an analysis of the evolution of American unionism. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  30. Maio GR, Olson JM (1995) Relations between values, attitudes, and behavioural intentions: the moderating role of attitude function. J Exp Soc Psychol 31:266–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Martinez AD, Fiorito J (2009) General feelings toward unions and employers as predictors of union voting intent. J Labor Res 30(2):120–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McShane SL (1986) A path analysis of participation in union administration. Ind Relat 25(1):72–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Montgomery BR (1989) The influence of attitudes and normative pressures on voting decisions in a union certification election. Ind Labor Relat Rev 42(2):262–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Newton LA, Shore LM (1992) A model of union membership: instrumentality, commitment and opposition. Acad Manage Rev 17:275–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nissen B (1998) Utilizing the membership to organize the unorganized. In: Bronfenbrenner K, Friedman S, Hurd R, Oswald R, Seeber R (eds) Organizing to win. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp 135–149Google Scholar
  36. Olson M (1971) The logic of collective action: public goods and the theory of groups. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  37. Podasakoff PM, MacKenzie SB, Lee JY, Podsakoff NP (2003) Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. J Appl Psychol 88(5):879–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Premack SL, Hunter JE (1988) Individual unionization decisions. Psychol Bull 103(2):223–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schwab DP (2005) Research methods for organizational studies, 2nd edn. Erlbaum, MahwahGoogle Scholar
  40. Snape E, Redman T (2004) Exchange or covenant? The nature of the member-union relationship. Ind Relat 43(4):855–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Snape E, Redman T, Chan AW (2000) Commitment to the union: a survey of research and the implication for industrial relations and trade unions. Int J Manag Rev 2(3):205–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Strauss G (1991) Union democracy. In: Strauss G, Gallagher DG, Fiorito J (eds) The State of the unions. Industrial Relations Research Association, Madison, pp 201–236Google Scholar
  43. Tetrick LE (1995) Developing and maintaining union commitment: a theoretical framework. J Organ Behav 16:583–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tetrick LE, Shore LM, Newton McClurg L, Vandenberg RJ (2007) A model of union participation: the impact of perceived union support, union instrumentality, and union loyalty. J Appl Psychol 92(3):820–828CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wright SC, Taylor DM, Moghaddam FM (1990) Responding to membership in a disadvantaged group: from acceptance to collective protest. J Pers Soc Psychol 58(6):994–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Fiorito
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gregor Gall
    • 2
  • Arthur D. Martinez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management, College of BusinessFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.School of BusinessUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldEngland

Personalised recommendations