Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 542–555 | Cite as

Confidence at Work and Individualism-Collectivism: An Empirical Demonstration of the Distinctiveness of American Union Employees

  • Steven MellorEmail author


Provided is an empirical demonstration of the distinctiveness of American union employees in regard to individualism-collectivism. Using confidence at work as an individual difference predictor and featuring willingness to equate success and failure with coworkers, and holistic thinking, as individualism-collectivism outcomes, relational differences between nonunion and union employees were shown. Specifically, inverse confidence at work-collectivism relationships were present for nonunion employees, but absent for union employees. Because such differences were hypothesized based on a view of union socialization as overlaid socialization—in which it is argued that internalized dominant culture individualism is not eradicated by union socialization but rather is situated within a work collective—the scholarly view that American union demise is inevitable due to dominant culture individualism is called into question. Suggestions to strengthen the empirical basis for the demonstrated distinctiveness of union employees are offered.


Confidence at work (self-efficacy) Individualism Collectivism Union employees 



The reference to “we” in this article is genuine. It is intended to acknowledge and to thank the following students for their dedicated and skilled survey work: Jocelyn Claudio, Matthew Croteau, Mario Moreno, Nathanael Park, Virginia Otero, Anne Rathey, Alexander Sorvillo, and Kenan Turkic. Thanks also must be extended to Katherine Holzer to acknowledge her diligent work in gathering and annotating measures.

Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures used in this study involving participants are in accordance with the ethical standards of the first author’s institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study in the form of an information sheet.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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