Dundon, Tony (1999) Employment relations in non-union organisations : a study of the patterns of relationship modification in the absence of a trade union. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis examines the internal dynamics of the employment relationship in
non-union organisations and the effects of factors that influence how the
relationship is made and modified. Evidence is derived from four case study
organisations, drawn from different sectors, sizes and industries. For the
purposes of empirical research the employment relationship is defined along
five dimensions. The influences on these five relationship dimensions are
assessed from a combination of internal and external factors in generating
patterns of relationship modification using a social exchange theoretical

The main conclusions of the study are that the major sources of influence can be
traced to different managerial styles, product market pressures and the internal
social dynamics of each organisation. Attention to the social processes within
each organisation shows important differences in the way employment relations
are made and modified in each of the four firms. Despite the growth of the nonunion
firm in the 1990s, this evidence suggests that the making and modification
of the employment relationship remains a source of tension. From these findings
it is suggested that one neglected element in understanding patterns of employee
relations is the prevailing climate in each organisation. While this was found to
be influenced by managerial philosophies, it was also a powerful intervening
variable between wider external factors and the employment relationship.

The results are used to trace implications for managements, trade unions and
public policy. Based on this evidence it is suggested that management can and
do determine whether to work with or without trade unions. As such this thesis
contributes to a neglected area of non-union industrial relations, the debates
about management style, the patterns of workplace compliance and recent
issues associated with union revitalisation and mobilisation.

Volume 1
DX218555_1.pdf - Accepted Version

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Volume 2: Apendices
DX218555_2.pdf - Accepted Version

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