• Advancing Industrial Relations Theory: An Analytical Synthesis of British-American and Pluralist-Radical Ideas

      Kaufman, B.E.; Gall, Gregor (2015-09)
      Prominent writers in industrial relations (IR) have concluded the field is in significant decline, partly because of a failed theory base. The theory problem is deepened because other writers conclude developing a theory foundation for industrial relations is neither possible nor desirable. We believe advancing IR theory is both needed and possible, and take up the challenge in this paper. A long-standing problem in theorizing industrial relations has been the lack of agreement on the field’s core analytical construct. However, in the last two decades writers have increasingly agreed the field is centred on the employment relationship. Another long-standing problem is that writers have theorized industrial relations using different theoretical frames of reference, including pluralist and radical-Marxist; different disciplinary perspectives, such as economics, sociology, history, and politics; and from different national traditions, such as British, French, and American. In this paper, we seek to advance IR theory and better integrate paradigms and national traditions. We do this by developing an analytical explanation for four core features of the employment relationship—generation of an economic surplus, cooperation-conflict dialectic, indeterminate nature of the employment contract, and asymmetric authority and power in the firm—using an integrative mix of ideas and concepts from the pluralist and radical-Marxist streams presented in a multi-part diagram constructed with marginalist tools from conventional economics. The diagram includes central IR system components, such as labour market, hierarchical firm, macro-economy, and nation state government. The model is used to explain the four features of the employment relationship and derive implications for IR theory and practice. Examples include the diagrammatic representation of the size and distribution of the economic surplus, a new analytical representation of labour exploitation, identification of labour supply conditions that encourage, respectively, cooperation versus conflict, and demonstration of how inequality of bargaining power in labour markets contributes to macroeconomic stagnation and unemployment.
    • Blacklisting

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Conflict

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Injunctions as a legal weapon in collective industrial disputes in Britain, 2005-2014

      Gall, Gregor (2016-06)
      This article examines the frequency, nature and outcomes of employers seeking injunctions against strikes and industrial action mounted by unions between 2005 and 2014. The number of actual and threatened applications continues to be relatively high compared with the previous period when strike levels were significantly higher, with employers continuing to gain overwhelmingly successful outcomes. Yet usage is increasingly concentrated in a small number of industrial sectors, suggesting the notion of ‘strike effectiveness’ provides the best means by which to explain their relative frequency and presence. Comparative analysis with Ireland highlights the specificity of the nature of British legal regulation of employer seeking injunctive relief.
    • Labour unions

      Gall, Gregor (2014)
    • Picketing

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Quiescence continued? Recent strike activity in nine Western European economies

      Gall, Gregor (2012)
      This article examines whether the downward trajectory in strike activity in nine Western European economies has continued over recent years. In doing so, it considers the nature of the dominant forms of extant strike activity and how these relate to systems of collective bargaining and political exchange. The main findings are three-fold. First, while there has been a general decline in aggregate strike activity, this has often been punctuated by sharp peaks. Second, the dominant nature of the strike activity, especially the sharp peaks, has become increasingly concerned with mounting demonstrative collective mobilizations in the political, rather than industrial, arena. Consequently, much strike activity is increasingly being deployed as a tool of political leverage with governments rather than as a tool of industrial leverage with (private sector) employers. Third, official data on strikes are becoming increasingly unreliable as they contain ever more significant exclusions, raising not so much the prospect of an end to quiescence but an over-estimation of the extent of decline.
    • Statutory Union Recognition Provisions as Stimulants to Employer Anti-Unionism in Three Anglo-Saxon Countries

      Gall, Gregor (2009)
      This article examines why employer opposition is stimulated by the introduction of statutory union recognition provisions in Britain, Ireland and the US. It examines the impact of the provisions for encouraging union organizing, which in turn stimulates employer anti-unionism, which then negates the intention of the provisions.
    • Strikes

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Union busting

      Gall, Gregor (2016)
    • Union Commitment and Activism in Britain and the United States: Searching for Synthesis and Synergy for Renewal

      Gall, Gregor; Fiorito, J. (2012)
      We propose a fuller synthesis between two relatively disjointed literatures to create synergy. Union commitment research has a long tradition and a relatively rigorous orientation grounded in industrial psychology. Recently, it has been eclipsed by emerging research on union renewal, and specifically that on union organizing. Renewal research has largely ignored union commitment research even though union renewal literature stresses the importance of activism, and this concept is strongly linked to commitment. A critical synthesis of these literatures yields progress in terms of addressing key qualitative and quantitative aspects of the contemporary crisis of labour unionism. A tentative framework is constructed that stipulates the main components and variables, and offers guidance for future research.
    • Union effectiveness: In Search of the Holy Grail

      Gall, Gregor; Fiorito, J. (2016-01-15)
      This article revisits the concept of union effectiveness and proposes a conceptual model to inform its study and application. Previous conceptual and empirical work is examined to identify key strengths and weaknesses, and to relate the union effectiveness concept to union renewal and other key concepts. This leads to the proposal of a Goal-System framework that builds and improves on prior research.
    • Union Recognition in Britain: The End of Legally Induced Voluntarism?

      Gall, Gregor (2012)
      The enactment of a third statutory union recognition procedure in Britain in 2000 led to a sharp rise and then fall in the number of new, largely voluntary, union recognition agreements being signed. This article examines and explains this trajectory, finding that the interaction of a weak procedure with its wider environment has led to a situation where the outcome of a reflexive law is heavily determined by the external balance of power in employment relations.
    • Unofficial strikes

      Gall, Gregor (2016)