The Worker, the Union and the Democratic Workplace

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Abstract. Much attention has been devoted to the potential gains in work satisfaction and productivity that can result from more democratic work organization. In the U.S. the willingness of management to share power is a key factor in the transfer from authoritarianism, as is widely recognized. Less widely recognized are the worker and the union as impediments to change. Various characteristics and interests of both, many related to the long history of the authoritarian workplace, make transition difficult. A particular set of conditions, not generally prevailing in the U.S., would be necessary for a pervasive joint union, management, worker thrust toward more participatory work organization. Copyright © 1987, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

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American Journal of Economics and Sociology