Book Review: Voice and Involvement at Work: Experience with Non-Union Representation

Voice and Involvement at Work Book Cover

Voice and Involvement at Work: Experience with Non-Union Representation. Edited by Paul J. Gollan, Bruce E. Kaufman, Daphne Taras, Adrian Wilkinson . New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2015. 420 pp. ISBN 978-0-415-53721-6, $135 (Cloth).

Rafael Gomez of University of Toronto recently took the time to review the book in the October Issue of ILR Review, which you can find here. From the review:

The editors spend a considerable amount of time in the introductory chapter not just laying out the structure of the book and offering a redacted synopsis for the time-constrained reviewer, but in really fleshing out where NER [non-union employee representation] sits in relation to the human resource management (HRM), economics, and industrial relations literatures. This chapter also offers arguably one of the strongest defenses of why we should be interested in NER and for abandoning many preconceived notions of what NER does. For too long, as the editors note, employee representation schemes that were either mandated (much work has existed on the rise of statutory works councils, for example) or set up by an employer were deemed to be of second order significance and/or lacked legitimacy in some quarters of the IR discipline. Likewise in the HRM literature, an ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointoverriding concern was on the bottom-line impact of such schemes and how they linked up to the broader high-performance paradigm. The editors quite rightly point to the real intrinsic value of providing voice to workers (free from any associated efficiency benefits) and how workplaces should still be viewed, by implication, as the crucibles of industrial democracy. The other perspective of course that is given short shrift by the editors is the view held among many traditional labor studies scholars that NER is everywhere and always a trade union substitute. This is indeed one of the motives behind some employer NER designs—the editors acknowledge as much—but equal precedence can be found for seeing NER systems as platforms for employee engagement and eventual trade union representation.

You can read the rest of the review from ILR Review for free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the latest research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!

This entry was posted in Book Review, Employees, Human Resource Management and tagged , , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

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 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 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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