‘Norma Rae’: Why Workers Join Unions

In honor of Labor Day, we are pleased to present an article from the Journal of Management Education that describes how business educators can use the classic film Norma Rae to teach labor relations:

Undergraduate business students in North America are often unfamiliar with the labor organizing process and frequently fail to identify with the reasons why workers join unions. This article suggests a discussion exercise based on the 1979 film, Norma Rae, by 20th Century Fox, as an effective tool for familiarizing students with fundamental topics in labor relations such as the union organizing process, union avoidance strategies, and unfair labor practices. In addition, the film and the discussion-based exercise can be used to help students further explore the sources of individual attitudesJME_72ppiRGB_150pixW toward unions, union instrumentality perceptions, union voting intentions, and contemporary issues in private sector labor relations. Collected data show positive responses from students who viewed the movie and participated in the discussion-based exercise. Suggestions are offered for using the film and the discussion-based exercise in the classroom to engage students in the study of labor relations.

The paper, “Teaching Labor Relations With Norma Rae” by Vicki Fairbanks Taylor of Shippensburg University and Michael J. Provitera of Barry University, is available online in the Journal of Management Education.

This entry was posted in Education, Labor Supply and tagged , , , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Editor, Management INK

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 900 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC, our publishing programme includes more than 560 journals and over 800 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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