What Makes Unions Strong? A Network Perspective on Union Bargaining Power
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This paper aims to describe the structural factors which affect the organizational differences in labor unions. Based on Emerson's power-dependence theory, I suggest two axes: dependence and cohesion. Dependence measures how well a union monopolizes the supply of workers to an employer. When organizations or individual workers can be easily replaced, a union will have low dependence; it also relates to low bargaining power. Cohesion indicates how much workers are participating in union activities; it depends on the density of social network and the economic institution related to a union. When a union is supported by those two aspects of cohesion, the possibility of initiating a successful strike is higher. Four case studies are explored to illustrate this hypothesis. This paper attempts to theoretically relate the organizational structure and power, and verify with the real world examples.
- Sociology