The Essence Of Trade Unions: Understanding Identity, Ideology And Purpose

TitleThe Essence Of Trade Unions: Understanding Identity, Ideology And Purpose
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHodder, Andy, and Edwards, Paul
JournalWork, Employment & Society
VolumeApril 2015
Date Published2015///
Keywordsindustrial and labor relations, trade unionism, union organizing, unionism, work and labor
Abstract

Academics have long investigated trade union behavior through the complex interaction of identity, ideology and purpose. At the same time, there have been increasing calls to gain a deeper understanding of the purpose of strategies but the two bodies of literature seldom overlap. The article proposes a framework to help understand the essence of trade unions and to situate strategies (such as organizing) in this broader context and bridge the gap between the literature on union purpose and identity and on strategies for renewal. It is argued that the essence of unions framework can assist with the analysis of both historical and contemporary trade unionism and allows both clarification and consideration of the range of concepts and terms already in use in the industrial relations literature.