Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 545–564 | Cite as

The organizational impact of university labor unions

  • Christine M. Wickens


The current review presents both postulated and empirically tested consequences of university unionization and labor strikes on the North American institution’s administration, faculty, and students. The review explores the impact of collective bargaining on employee working conditions including job security, academic freedom, university governance, and due process. More importantly, this review examines the much neglected issue of organizational work relationships in a unionized academic environment. The relationships discussed include those between faculty members, between the faculty and administration, between the faculty and the university as an institution, and between the faculty and their union. The threat of unionization and labor strikes to the professor–student or mentor–mentee relationship has been a central concern of those opposed to graduate student unions, and this issue is also addressed here. The text concludes with the identification of potential areas for future research.


Coping Industrial relations Labor strikes Labor unions Organizational behavior Public administration Stress 



I would like to thank Professors David L. Wiesenthal, Fredric Weizmann, and Janice Newson, and the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript, whose input helped to make this a much stronger review of the subject area.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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