Non-Union Employee Representation, Union Avoidance and the Managerial Agenda

TitleNon-Union Employee Representation, Union Avoidance and the Managerial Agenda
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsDonaghey, Jimmy, Cullinane, Niall, Dundon, Tony, and Dobbins, Tony
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Pagination163 - 183
Keywordscase study, managerial intent, non-union representation, union avoidance, worker participation

Non-union employee representation is an area which has attracted much interest in the voice literature. Much of the literature has been shaped by a dialogue which considers NERs as a means of union avoidance. More recently however scholars have suggested that for NERs to work in such contexts, they may need to be imbued with a higher set of functionalities to remain viable entities. Using a critical case study of a union recognition drive and managerial response in the form of an NER, this article contributes to a more nuanced interpretation of the literature dialogue than hitherto exists. A core component of the findings directly challenge existing interpretations within the field; namely that NERs are shaped by a paradox of managerial action. It is argued that the NER failed to satisfy for employees because of a structural remit, rather than through any paradox in managerial intent.