Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 653–667 | Cite as

Local union leaders’ satisfaction with grievance procedures

  • Brian Bemmels
  • Dora C. Lau


We develop a model of local union leaders’ satisfaction with their grievance proce-dures drawing from the job characteristics model and agency theory. The model is tested with OLS regression and LISREL estimates based on a survey of local union leaders in British Columbia. Results show that local union leaders are more satisfied with their grievance procedures when local officials have more autonomy in decision making; their local size is smaller; the grievance filing rate is low; grievance issues are perceived as important; the grievance resolution rate is high; a greater propor-tion of grievances are settled in the early steps; and the union success rate is high. In addition, grievance procedure satisfaction is multifaceted and each facet has its own unique variance and a different combination of significant predictors.


Union Member Agency Theory Local Leader Labor Relation Review Union Official 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bemmels, Brian. “Shop Stewards' Satisfaction with Grievance Procedures.” Industrial Relations 34 (October 1995): 578–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. — and Janice R. Foley. “Grievance Procedure Research: A Review and Theoretical Recommenda-tion.” Journal of Management 22 (Summer 1996): 359–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bemmels, Brian, Yonatan Reshef, and Kay Stratton-Devine. “The Roles of Supervisors, Employees, and Stewards in Grievance Initiation.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 45 (October 1991): 15–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Catlett, Judith L. and Edwin L. Brown. “Union Leaders' Perceptions of the Grievance Process.” Labor Studies Journal 51 (Spring 1990): 54–65.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, Paul F. “Organizing the Organizers: Professional Staff Unionism in the American Labor Movement.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 42 (July 1989): 584–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. —. “Professional Staff in American Unions: Changes, Trends, Implications.” Journal of Labor Research 13 (Fall 1992): 381–92.Google Scholar
  7. - and Daniel Gallagher. “Membership Perceptions of the Value and Effect of Grievance Procedures.” Proceedings of the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association (1988): 406–14.Google Scholar
  8. Eaton, Adrienne E., Michael E. Gordon, and Jeffrey H. Keefe. “The Impact of Quality of Work Life Pro-grams and Grievance System Effectiveness on Union Commitment.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 45 (April 1992): 591–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. “Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review.” Academy of Management Review 14 (January 1989): 57–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fryxell, Gordon E. and Michael E. Gordon. “Workplace Justice and Job Satisfaction as Predictors of Satisfaction with Union and Management.” Academy of Management Journal 32 (December 1989): 851–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Glick, William H., G. D. Jenkins, and Nina Gupta. “Method versus Substance: How Strong Are Underlying Relationships between Job Characteristics and Attitudinal Outcomes?” Academy of Management Journal 29 (September 1986): 441–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gordon, Michael E. and Roger L. Bowlby. “Propositions about Grievance Settlements: Finally, Consultation with Grievants.” Personnel Psychology 41 (Spring 1988): 107–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hackman, J. R. and Greg R. Oldham. Work Redesign. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1980.Google Scholar
  14. Joreskog, K.G. and D. Sorbom. LISREL: Analysis of Linear Structural Relationships by the Method of Maximum Likelihood. 4th ed. Mooresville, Ind.: Scientific Software, 1986.Google Scholar
  15. Judge, Timothy A. and Charles L. Hulin. “Job Satisfaction As a Reflection of Disposition: A Multiple Source Causal Analysis.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 56 (December 1993): 388–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knight, Thomas. “The Tactical Use of the Union's Duty of Fair Representation: An Empirical Analysis.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 40 (January 1987a): 180–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. —. “The Role of the Duty of Fair Representation in Union Grievance Decisions.” Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations 42 (Autumn 1987b): 716–33.Google Scholar
  18. Lewin, David and Richard B. Peterson. The Modern Grievance Procedure in the United States. New York: Quorum Books, 1988.Google Scholar
  19. Loher, Brian T., Raymond A. Noe, N. L. Moeller, and M. P. Fitzgerald. “A Meta-Analysis of the Relation of Job Characteristics to Job Satisfaction.” Journal of Applied Psychology 70 (May 1985): 280–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McGuire, Robert A. and Robert L. Ohsfeldt. “Self-interest, Agency Theory, and Political Voting Behavior: The Ratification of the United States Constitution.” American Economic Review 79 (March 1989): 219–34.Google Scholar
  21. Podsakoff, Philip M. and Dennis W. Organ. “Self-Reports in Organizational Research: Problems and Prospects.” Journal of Management 12 (Winter 1986): 531–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ponak, Allen and Corliss Olson. “Time Delays in Grievance Arbitration.” Industrial Relations 47 (Autumn 1992): 690–705.Google Scholar
  23. Wagner, John A. III. “Participation's Effects on Performance and Satisfaction: A Reconsideration of Research Evidence.” Academy of Management Review 19 (April 1994): 312–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stone, Eugene F. and Hal G. Gueutal. “An Empirical Derivation of the Dimensions Along Which Characteristics of Jobs Are Perceived.” Academy of Management Journal 28 (June 1985): 376–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Bemmels
    • 1
  • Dora C. Lau
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations