Trade Unions: Resurgence or Demise? (Paperback) book cover

Trade Unions

Resurgence or Demise?

Edited by Sue Fernie, David Metcalf

© 2005 – Routledge

270 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2005-06-23
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About the Book

This book features original research underpinned with theory drawn from economics, organization theory, history and social psychology. The authors deliver a comprehensive analysis of trade unions’ prospects in the new millennium as well as case studies which deal with topical issues such as:

  • the reasons for the loss of five million members in the 1980s and 1990s
  • the way in which unions’ own structures inhibit their revitalization
  • the apparent failure of unions to thrive in the benign times since 1997
  • the extent to which use of the internet will permit unions to break with their tradition of organizing by occupation or industry
  • the prospects for real social partnership at national level
  • the way in which high performance workplaces in the US give voice to workers without unions.

Written by some of the leading scholars in the area, this book gives an insight into union prospects for the future and has important policy implications for all parties concerned with industrial relations, unions, employers and governments.

Table of Contents


Sue Fernie

Markets, Firms, and Unions: A Historical-institutionalist Perspective on the Future of Unions in Britain

Howard Gospel

3. Circling the Wagons; Endogeneity in Union Decline

Paul Willman

4. Social Movement Theory and Union Revitalization in Britain

John Kelly

5. British Unions: Resurgence or Perdition? An Economic Analysis

David Metcalf

6. Union Responses to Public-private Partnerships in the National Health Service

Stephen Bach and Rebecca Givan

7. Unions and Performance-related Pay: What Chance of a Procedural Justice Role?

David Marsden and Richard Belfield

From the Webbs to the Web: The Contribution of the Internet to Reviving Union Fortunes

Richard Freeman

9 The Public Policy Face of Trade Unionism

Robert Taylor

10 Follow the Leader: Are British Trade Unions Tracking the US Decline?

Morris Kleiner

11 Trade Unions in Germany: On the Road to Perdition?

Claus Schnabel

Appendix – Trade Union Numbers, Membership and Density

Andy Charlwood and David Metcalf

About the Editors

Sue Fernie is Lecturer in Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics.

David Metcalf is Professor of Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics.

About the Series

The Future of Trade Unions in Britain

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industrial Management