Trade Unions: Promoting or Withholding Solutions in Management–Union Conflicts? Analysis of Employee and Manager Perceptions
Roni Mash, Ph.D; Michal Gutman Kremer

This paper examines employee and manager perceptions of the trade union within their organization as either promoting or withholding solutions in employee management conflicts. The primary research questions asked the following: Are there differences in employee and manager comprehension of trade union behavior in union–management conflict? Are these differences expressed on the level of gender between men and women? Are certain handling patterns considered as promoting or withholding solutions? How does the chosen pattern affect general job satisfaction of workers? 158 employees and managers, both men and women from three public sector organizations asked to answer questionnaires based on trade-union handling styles in times of union-management conflict, added questions about union ability to promote or withhold solution and employee job satisfaction. Findings show significant correlations between handling styles and employee and manager perception of the union as promoting or withholding solutions in conflict situations. Some handling styles were viewed as more solution-promoting (compromising, collaborative, and competitive) with others regarded as more solution-withholding (e.g., avoiding and obliging). Additional findings indicate that men diagnosed the dominant handling style as competitive, while women diagnosed it as one of avoidance. In addition, men were more likely than women to perceive unions as promoting conflictsolutions. Nonetheless, both men and women agreed that a more competitive union can promote solutions better than a union characterized by conflict-avoidance. This research contributes managers and employees by offering tools to examine their dealing with conflict effectiveness.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jssw.v4n1a15