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Title: Non-manual workplace unionism in the 1980s : patterns, influences and character
Author: Smith, Anthony Elson
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 1694
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1987
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This research, based upon both survey data and case studies at five workplaces over several years, investigates the patterns and character of non-manual unions' workplace organisations and the factors influencing then. The first part of the study, taking manual unions as its point of reference, considers what characteristics of workplace organisations can be identified, why different patterns have developed and how the impact of such organisations can be assessed. In subsequent parts the findings of research in the non-manual sphere are examined. Previous writers on non-manual workers have claimed to perceive major differences between non-manual and manual trade unionism. The assumption being that non-manual workers will have distinctive attitudes towards unions since they have been traditionally regarded as individualistic and anti-trade unionism. This thesis discusses and provides answers to the two main questions arising from the manual/non-manual trade union distinction: firstly, what similarities and differences between non-manual and manual workplace trade unionism can be identified and secondly, how can such similarities and differences be explained? In marked contrast to the claims that major differences exist, the case studies and survey data demonstrate that non-manual and manual workplace trade unionism is essentially similar. The research investigates how the organisation of non-manual trade unions at the workplace is equipped to meet the challenges posed by economic recession and technical change. Central to the analysis of union organisation are two key factors. Firstly, the nature and relative importance of its membership. Secondly, the degree to which its organisational structure is developed. These two factors, and their interrelationship, play a significant role in explaining union activity in the workplace. The conclusions reveal weaknesses and shortcomings in non-manual union workplace organisation and suggest ways unions could adapt to meet the challenges of the latter part of the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor