• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

'Can employees have effective voice without independent collective organisation? In the UK, unlike most of continental Europe, government and employers typically answer yes. Gollan's detailed study provides sound reasons for scepticism' - Richard Hyman, Department of Industrial Relations, LSE 'We know very little about the non-union sector in Britain despite the fact that it now embraces the clear majority of the workforce. The publication of Paul Gollan's Employee Representation in Non-Union Firms therefore represents a very important addition to the field. Based on extensive and detailed in-depth study of some leading non-union employers, it throws new light on the ways in which employee interests are represented in such firms' - Prof John Kelly, Birkbeck College 'Are non-union systems of representation (NER) an acceptable alternative to union-based systems or do they infact complement more traditional forms of union representation?' - Bruce Kaufman, Georgia State University Robinson College of Business This book is the first of its kind to answer this challenging question. It offers a comprehensive overview of NER in the UK and locates UK practice within an international context. Readers are invited to consider the potential implications and limitations of NER arrangements, and to examine how unions respond to these NER arrangements through bargaining, consultation and representation processes. Throughout issues are addressed on both a macro and micro level. The book reviews the literature and examines current practice using survey data and original case analysis. Engaging readers who are studying industrial relations, human resource management, employee involvement and consultation, unions and management strategy, it will also be appeal to practioners working in these areas.

Research Limitations and Strengths

The strategy applied in this book has certain limitations, which should be acknowledged. Firstly, while the case study method can provide richness and details of processes and outcomes within a particular enterprise, generalising to other non-union workplaces and firms can be problematic for a number of reasons.

Dietz (2004: 11) has noted, ‘familiar problems surrounding subjectivity with the key players’ testimonies especially, of interviewees projecting their experiences on to the organisation as a whole, and post hoc reflections being subject to error and bias especially those that present the interviewee in a favourable light’. While acknowledging the potential limitations of the method, this research has attempted to triangulate the data from various sources and to ‘corroborate testimonies’ from different actors within key ...

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