An examination of management -labor relations and the influence of age on worker commitment to union and company in a manufacturing plant

Ted Michael Brimeyer, Purdue University

Abstract

This dissertation examines both management-labor relations at the organizational level and worker commitment to their union and company at the individual level. At the organizational level the relations between the union and company are similar to labor-management relations in the 1950s and 1960s. These relations are in many ways unique due to the drastic economic changes that have occurred in the United States since the mid 1970s and can be explained by the company's product, worker participation, high corporate profits, and the ability to quickly adapt to market changes and customer demands. At the individual level, the workers commitment to the company and union do not vary from workers in other studies of commitment. Company commitment is related to age, satisfaction with extrinsic rewards, supervisor support, job autonomy, and loyalty to co-workers. Union Commitment is related to age, union experiences, union participation, views of the contract, and relations with leaders and co-workers. A further test of commitment antecedents across three age groups (workers 34 or younger, 35--45, and 46 or older) revealed different factors helped to explain commitment for the workers. Both internal workplace experiences and experiences with the economy explain these differences. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Major Professor: Robert Perrucci, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations

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