Title: De-collectivism and managerial ideology: towards an understanding of trade union opposition

Authors: Tony Dundon, Brian Harney, Niall Cullinane

Addresses: J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway Ireland, Galway, Ireland. ' Dublin City University Business School, Dublin City University, Room Q323, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland. ' Queen's University Management School, Queens University, 25 Queen's University Square, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK

Abstract: Employers have long preferred to manage without the incursion of a trade union in company affairs. Much of the extant literature views managerial opposition to unions in terms of discrete typologies of union suppression and/or substitution. In this paper we present a conceptual analysis that questions the efficacy of such approaches. Given the limitations identified, the paper argues that managerial ideology provides a deeper theoretical and historically grounded form of analysis to explain hostility towards collective forms of worker representation. The paper explores the antecedents of managerial ideology and the logic to how and why trade unions are opposed. It concludes that as ideology drives managerial decollectivising strategies, lessons can be learnt for future union organising.

Keywords: management ideology; de-collectivisation; union avoidance; non-unionism; union organising; trade union opposition; trade unions; worker representation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2010.037812

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2010 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.267 - 281

Available online: 30 Dec 2010 *

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