The trade union merger process : a study of trade union structural dynamics
Previous studies of trade union structure have relied upon the differentiation of taxonomic types. Descriptively, this method fails to account for the evolutionary development of trade union form. Analytically, the categorisation of unions into ideal types and the accentuation of the pure form have acted to emphasise stasis to the exclusion of the dynamic elements inherent within trade union structural development. In order to overcome these shortcomings this thesis relies upon the identification and analysis of the inter-relationships between trade union structural events. There are four such structural events: mergers, formations, dissolutions and breakaways. The central analytical focus is upon the trade union merger process, its causal influences and its relationship with other structural events. The wave pattern of occurrence observed in aggregate merger activity forms the initial focus. Multivariate analysis is employed to generate a framework within which this pattern is examined. The results of the multivariate analysis suggest a changing relationship between the merger process and its environmental influences during different phases in the institutionalisation of industrial relations. Analyses of the changing shape of merger activity and differences in its form during the two principal merger waves lend further support to the notion that the merger process has undergone an evolutionary development. The inter-relationships between merger activity and other forms of structural events also suggest variation over time. The pattern in these variations is related to existing explanations of merger activity in order that their merits and limitations can be considered. The extraction of elements of these explanations allows for the generation of an alternative account of the developments in merger activity based upon the integration of the extracted elements.