The Growth of the Post-entry Closed Shop since the mid-1960s: Theoretical Framework

  • Stephen Dunn
  • John Gennard


This chapter and the next attempt to explain the rise of the post-entry closed shop since the early 1960s. We begin by constructing from published material and inductive reasoning two discrete, although not mutually exclusive, theories. These are tested against data derived from our field survey in Chapter 5. The first, which we call the ‘hard theory’, states that the post-entry closed shop spread because trade unions, employers or both identified it as having a significant impact upon industrial relations from which they were likely to gain substantial advantages. The second, which we call the ‘soft theory’, states that in contrast the post-entry closed shop spread almost as a side-effect of other industrial-relations developments which reduced its significance and therefore its contentiousness as an issue between unions and employers.


Trade Unionist Collective Bargaining Union Member Industrial Relation Union Membership 
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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    W. E. J. McCarthy, The Closed Shop in Britain, Blackwell, Oxford, 1964.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    See, for example, P. Dubois, ‘New Forms of Industrial Conflict’, in volume 2 of C. Crouch and A. Pizzorno (eds), The Resurgence of Class Conflict in Western Europe since 1968, 2 vols, Macmillan, London, 1978, pp. 1–34.Google Scholar
  3. C. J. B. Smith, R. Clifton, P. Makeham, C. Creigh and R. Burn, Strikes in Britain, Department of Employment, Manpower Paper no. 15, HMSO, London, 1978Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    C. Hanson, S. Jackson and D. Miller, The Closed Shop, Gower Press, Aldershot, 1982, pp. 79–80.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    The closed shop has generally only been of passing interest to those arguing the corporatist theme. But its spread has nevertheless been identified as a manifestation of the corporatist trend; see, for example, C. Crouch, Class Conflict and the Industrial Relations Crisis, Heinemann Educational Books, London, 1977.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    For the extent of this development, see W. A. Brown (ed.), The Changing Contours of British Industrial Relations, Blackwell, Oxford, 1981Google Scholar
  7. 25.
    See, for example, Hanson et al., The Closed Shop, pp. 23–6; and R. Lewis and B. Simpson, Striking a Balance, Martin Robertson, Oxford, 1981, pp. 18–80.Google Scholar
  8. 26.
    See B. Weekes, M. Mellish, L. Dickens and J. Lloyd, Industrial Relations and the Limits of the Law, Blackwell, Oxford, 1975, ch. 2.Google Scholar
  9. 36.
    E. Batstone, I. Boraston and S. Frenkel, Shop Stewards in Action, Blackwell, Oxford, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen Dunn and John Gennard 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Dunn
    • 1
  • John Gennard
    • 2
  1. 1.Kingston PolytechnicUK
  2. 2.University of StrathclydeUK

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