The Closed Shop in British Industry

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The Closed Shop: Debate, Policy and the Purpose of this Book

  • Stephen DunnAffiliated withKingston Polytechnic
  • , John GennardAffiliated withUniversity of Strathclyde


We wrote this book because the one comprehensive study of the closed shop in Britain is now twenty years old. The study is McCarthy’s.1 It has endured well into an era in which, according to piecemeal evidence, the pattern and nature of the practice has changed significantly. A replacement seems long overdue. In attempting to provide it we were inclined to adopt an approach broadly similar to McCarthy’s. Like him, we were primarily interested in the perennial industrial-relations themes of job control and job regulation. Consequently our main focus is on the purpose and influence of the closed shop in the relationship between trade unions and management.