Trade union effectiveness: theorising a set of dimensions
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-05, 03:13 authored by Pyman, Amanda, Hanley, Glennis
Australian unions currently face a multiplicity of adverse challenges. Union revitalisation has emerged as a key issue. Implicit in much of this debate is the question of what an effective union is. Rather surprisingly, there is a dearth of literature on union effectiveness. A survey of the six empirical studies that do exist reveals that improved terms and conditions, membership orientation, union leadership, union voice and industrial democracy augment union effectiveness. Much can also be gleaned however from related literature, such as that dealing with union goals and strategies. A review of both sets of literature results in the development of a 'core set of dimensions' of union effectiveness, including improved terms and conditions of employment, growth, internal democracy, organisational stability, activism and social movement unionism. Whilst such a conceputalisation contributes to redressing the omission in the literature, union effectiveness remains a fruitful and critical area for further research.