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Organising methods and member recruitment in Irish trade unions

Organising methods and member recruitment in Irish trade unions Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the recruiting and organising methods used by Irish full‐time union officials to recruit new members in the private sector of the economy. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on a survey of full‐time union officials in eight Irish trade unions. Findings – Results indicate that the use of organising techniques by officials had no significant impact on changes in membership numbers but did have a significant and positive impact on reported changes in new members. However, the variance explained was extremely modest. Research limitations/implications – A potential limitation is that the organising model is assessed solely from the perspective of full‐time union officials. An area for future research would be to capture the attitudes and experiences of local activists involved in organising. Practical implications – The demands of the organising approach require great commitment in terms of time and financial resources for unions. Yet the returns from this investment may be slight as only a relatively weak relationship was found between the number of organising methods used and changes in membership numbers and the recruitment of new members. Originality/value – To date there has been little systematic study of either the recruitment methods used by Irish trade unions or the relative success of different approaches. Based on a survey of Irish full‐time union officials, this paper attempts to address this lacuna. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Employee Relations: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Organising methods and member recruitment in Irish trade unions

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0142-5455
DOI
10.1108/01425451111153880
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the recruiting and organising methods used by Irish full‐time union officials to recruit new members in the private sector of the economy. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on a survey of full‐time union officials in eight Irish trade unions. Findings – Results indicate that the use of organising techniques by officials had no significant impact on changes in membership numbers but did have a significant and positive impact on reported changes in new members. However, the variance explained was extremely modest. Research limitations/implications – A potential limitation is that the organising model is assessed solely from the perspective of full‐time union officials. An area for future research would be to capture the attitudes and experiences of local activists involved in organising. Practical implications – The demands of the organising approach require great commitment in terms of time and financial resources for unions. Yet the returns from this investment may be slight as only a relatively weak relationship was found between the number of organising methods used and changes in membership numbers and the recruitment of new members. Originality/value – To date there has been little systematic study of either the recruitment methods used by Irish trade unions or the relative success of different approaches. Based on a survey of Irish full‐time union officials, this paper attempts to address this lacuna.

Journal

Employee Relations: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 16, 2011

Keywords: Union recruitment; Organising methods; Private sector; Trade unions; Ireland

References