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Contemporary ethical issues in labor-management relations

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Numerous labor-management issues possess ethical dimensions and pose ethical questions. In this article, the authors discuss four labor-management issues that present important contemporary problems: union organizing, labor-management negotiations, employee involvement programs, and union obligations of fair representation. In the authors view, labor and management too often view their ethical obligations as beginning and ending at the law's boundaries. Contemporary business realities suggest that cooperative and enlightened modes of interaction between labor and management seem appropriate.

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Robert S. Adler is Associate Professor of Legal Studies at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches courses in Business Law, Business Ethics, and Regulation. Prior to coming to UNC, Professor Adler served as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives.

William J. Bigoness is Professor of Business Administration and Director, Center for Management Studies at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His professional interests include organizational behavior, human resource management, and labor-management relations. Dr. Bigoness was Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) located in Lausanne, Switzerland from 1985 to 1987.

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Adler, R.S., Bigoness, W.J. Contemporary ethical issues in labor-management relations. J Bus Ethics 11, 351–360 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00870547

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