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Title: Rethinking mobilization : a case study of mobilization processes in higher education
Author: Tambay, Prerna
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 0140
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The existing industrial relations literature overemphasizes mobilization as a process of participation in a union and underemphasizes it as a process of participation in collective actions such as strikes. The latter process is difficult to study because strikes are so infrequent. The researcher utilized the opportunity provided by the current wave of strikes in British Higher Education to fill this gap in the literature. Mobilization theory, as proposed by Kelly (1998), provides a solid framework through which to understand the overall process of the mobilization of workers (spanning participation in trade union activities as well as collective actions such as strikes). However, the field of industrial relations has been impacted upon by technological advancements, changes in the demographics of workers and union membership; the economic crisis, subsequent policy changes and new proposals by the ruling government based on its ideology. Henceforth, there is a need to revisit the current sense-making process of workers and how these workers participate in unions and collective actions proposed by unions: how workers are transformed from consensus mobilization (union participation) to action mobilization (participating in strike action). The current study adds value to the existing literature by focusing on the reasons driving participation in collective actions such as strikes. The researcher has tested the determinants of consensus mobilization predicted by union participation literature. A further analysis was on the level of action mobilization and how it varies, depending on the level of consensus mobilization. Alongside testing the mobilization theory, this research helps to understand the role of framing perspectives, networks and emotions in understanding the actual mobilization process, which goes beyond union participation and discussion about injustice, leadership and collective action. The findings of the researcher are focused on the determinants of consensus mobilization and action mobilization (and how this varies depending on the level of consensus mobilization). The research began by testing the mobilization theory to study the variation in voting behaviour and consensus mobilization. To achieve this objective the researcher used a positivistic paradigm. To study action mobilization and to predict variations, the researcher explored research frameworks from the area of social movements. The researcher used a phenomenological paradigm and found that framings, social/digital networks and emotions play important roles in mobilization, alongside injustice and leadership in collectivisation of worker interests. The key contribution of this research to the literature is that it describes in a revised mobilization model. This model describes the actions that the trade union needs to take to mobilize workers for consensus and action mobilization, related to framing, networks and emotions. Essentially mobilization happens in four interconnected steps: mobilization potential, action mobilization, motivation to participation and barriers to participation, where the increase and decrease in the mobilization process is influenced by how the networks of groups and sub-groups are targeted by social movement organisations (SMOs), how effectively the framing process is used by SMOs and how they manage to arouse the emotions of the targeted individuals and groups.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available