The Unions and the Management of Discontent

  • Martin Laffin
Part of the Public Policy and Politics book series


The problems of change are far from being solely a management concern. Union leaders have also to cope with the problems arising from the fiscal crisis. Now that the earlier corporatist type relationship is breaking down, they have to search for a middle way between too much confrontation and too much collaboration with the employer (see Chapter 3). This search involves the major tasks both of responding effectively to management policies and strategies and also of managing discontent within the local union organisation. The focus of this chapter is on these tasks. The first section examines the tasks and problems of responding to policy change in the forms both of retrenchment and of policy innovation; in particular it considers the spreading rejection of employer collaboration by the unions. The second section considers the complications that management differentiation and fragmentation introduces into the management-union relationship. While the third section looks at the changing problems of union leadership in terms of the management of discontent.


Trade Union Union Member Industrial Relation Policy Innovation White Collar 
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Copyright information

© Martin Laffin 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Laffin
    • 1
  1. 1.SydneyAustralia

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