HIGH‐INVOLVEMENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, TRADE UNION REPRESENTATION AND WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE IN BRITAIN

HIGH‐INVOLVEMENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, TRADE UNION REPRESENTATION AND WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE IN... Debates about Britain's productivity performance have often drawn attention to the roles played by working practices and employment relations. In the 1980s and 1990s, trade unions were a prime focus; more recently, attention has turned to high‐involvement management (HIM) practices (also referred to as ‘high‐performance work systems’). We combine the two to investigate the relationships between work organisation, trade union representation and workplace performance. We find that HIM has a positive impact on labour productivity. However, this effect is restricted to unionised workplaces, and seems more readily explained by concessionary wage bargaining than ‘mutual gains’, given the absence of any association with financial performance. These findings raise questions about the universal applicability of HIM as a route to improved workplace performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Journal of Political Economy Wiley

HIGH‐INVOLVEMENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, TRADE UNION REPRESENTATION AND WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE IN BRITAIN

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0036-9292
eISSN
1467-9485
DOI
10.1111/j.0036-9292.2005.00352.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Debates about Britain's productivity performance have often drawn attention to the roles played by working practices and employment relations. In the 1980s and 1990s, trade unions were a prime focus; more recently, attention has turned to high‐involvement management (HIM) practices (also referred to as ‘high‐performance work systems’). We combine the two to investigate the relationships between work organisation, trade union representation and workplace performance. We find that HIM has a positive impact on labour productivity. However, this effect is restricted to unionised workplaces, and seems more readily explained by concessionary wage bargaining than ‘mutual gains’, given the absence of any association with financial performance. These findings raise questions about the universal applicability of HIM as a route to improved workplace performance.

Journal

Scottish Journal of Political EconomyWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2005

References

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