Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Sociology of Work; Work and Learning; Class Analysis.

Zvoch, K. (2001). Contextual effects on adolescent educational expectations: A life history perspective. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences, 62(4-A), 1328.


Data from the U.S. National Education Longitudinal Survey of 1988 (NELS: 88) is analyzed investigating macro-level effects on adolescent educational expectations. Consistent with hypotheses derived from the logic of life history theory, adolescents living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods (i.e., high mortality contexts) are more likely to discount the value of intermediate or advanced levels of education (as reflected in expectations of future educational attainment) when compared with peers from more advantaged areas. Neighborhood influence is robust to individual and macro-level controls. Adjusting for the effects of familial SES, child achievement, parental support, and several aspects of the school environment, neighborhood context, an average of within-neighborhood familial SES scores remained the strongest macro-level influence on adolescent expectations. To assess whether adolescents with short educational time horizons are more likely to engage in behaviors that bring short term gain, data from the longitudinal component of NELS:88 are analyzed. Analysis of follow-up data indicate that adolescents who report low educational expectations in the eighth grade are more likely to later drop out of school, engage in risky sexual behavior, and begin reproducing when considered relative to peers with high educational expectations.
KEY WORDS: Educational Aspirations; Expectations; Socioeconomic Status.



Section 4.7

Work, Learning and the Labour Movement- Unions




Alvarez, J., Moreno, G., & Patrino, A. (2007). Institutional effects as determinants of learning outcomes: Exploring state variations in Mexico. Washington, DC: The World Bank.


This paper uses the OECD ' s Program for International Student Assessment student-level achievement database for Mexico to estimate state education production functions, controlling for student characteristics, family background, home inputs, resources, and institutions. The authors take advantage of the state-level variation and representative sample to analyze the impact of institutional factors such as state accountability systems and the role of teachers ' unions in student achievement. They argue that accountability, through increased use of state assessments, will improve learning outcomes. The authors also cast light on the role of teachers ' unions, namely their strength through appointments to the school and relations with state governments. The analysis shows the importance of good relations between states and unions. Furthermore, it demonstrates that accountability systems are cost-effective measures for improving outcomes.
KEY WORDS: Unions and Learning; Learning Outcomes; OECD; Program for International Student Assessment; Institutional Factors; Mexico.

Bacon, N. (1999). Union derecognition and the new human relations: A steel industry case study. Work, Employment and Society, 13(1), 1-17.


This article provides a detailed case study of a nonunion steel company in England that adopted a comprehensive human resource management approach. Similar records of such workplaces identify benefits for employees, eg, a perceived lack of need for union membership. A rather different picture is revealed here in a case where some gains for employees proved deceptive. The strategies taken by managers were geared toward attitudinal compliance, work intensification, & suppression of any counterbalancing trade union activity. Non-compliance was punished & management was exceptionally harsh on individuals who could not or would not fit in.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Human Relations Movement; Metal Industry; Management Styles; Personnel Policy; Compliance; England.

Ball, M. (2002). Engaging non-participants in formal education: Considering a contribution from trade union education. Studies in Continuing Education, 24(2), 119-131.


A study of 66 British participants at the beginning of and 2 years into labor education revealed that 80% had left school at age 16 and had negative schooling experiences. However, continual engagement in union activities and education, opportunities to see connections between work and learning activities, and the mutual reinforcement of these activities contributed to new perspectives on learning for these formerly disaffected adults.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Educational Experience; Enrollment Influences; Foreign Countries; Labor Education; Learning Motivation; Negative Attitudes; Participation.
Bascia, N. (2001). The other side of the equation: Professional development and the organizational capacity of teacher unions. NALL Working Paper No. 27. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.
This paper describes three different types of nonformal and informal professional development provided by teachers' organizations. It identifies strategies for improving the "fit" between available professional development and teachers' occupational needs. Rather than recommending a single, "best" professional development strategy, the paper emphasizes sociological and organizational factors germane to teachers' organizations themselves - that is, it considers teachers' organizations' role in teacher socialization, the demographics of teacher organization participation, and internal structural features. These factors suggest that teachers' organizations must look within at a variety of organizational issues, and consider a wide variety of organizational strategies simultaneously. The paper draws from conceptual and empirical research on national, state/provincial and local teacher union reform activities, on teachers' perceptions of their organizations, and on teacher involvement with their organizations over the past decade.
KEY WORDS: Learning Work Relationships; Informal Learning; Self-directed Learning; Formal Education; Paid Employment.

Bascia, N. (2001). Learning through struggle: How the Alberta teachers' association maintains an even keel. NALL Working Paper No. 44. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, OISE/UT. Available at: www.nall.ca.


This paper considers how one Canadian teachers' organization, the Alberta Teachers' Association, has managed to maintain and even enhance its viability and vitality under particularly challenging political conditions. It shows how, in working through struggle, the ATA has become a more vital organization both internally and in relation to its membership, created a series of opportunities for educators to mobilize and take some control of their practice, and redirected the public discourse about education to include at least some consideration of the relationship between educational quality and teachers' working conditions. The paper draws upon over ten years of research on North American teachers' organizations, but its major data source is original research conducted within the ATA during the 1998-99 school year. This research was initially conceptualized as an analysis of teachers' organizations as sites for teachers' professional learning. Because of the way interviewees articulated their responses to researchers' questions, the original research focus on teacher learning in rather conventional terms was broadened to allow for a more complex notion of learning that considered aspects of individual but also organizational, sectorial, and social learning.
KEY WORDS: Learning Work Relationships; Informal self directed learning; Formal education; Paid employment.

Beaumount, J., & Nicholls, W. (2007). Between relationally and territoriality: Investigating the geographies of justice movements in The Netherlands and the United States. Environment and Planning, 39(11), 2554 – 2574.


This paper examines the geographies of justice movements in Rotterdam in The Netherlands and Los Angeles in the United States. In their wider national and international frameworks, movements in both countries continue to contest unjust forms of urbanization characterized by neoliberal initiatives that undermine the socioeconomic status of low-income residents. These movements are constituted by relations that stretch across several geographical levels. There remain, however, significant differences in their spatial organizational form: Rotterdam is characterized by loose networks of local associations which relate to constellations of nationally based Christian churches, unions, and humanist organizations, whereas networks between associations, unions, and university activists in Los Angeles have undergone institutionalization at the urban level. The authors show that movement territorialization is particularly evident at the urban level in Los Angeles while in Rotterdam they are embedded at the national level in the shadow of state-corporatist institutional legacies and power relations. The authors draw on insights from several economic geographers to develop a conceptual framework for explaining the spatialities of contention and contribute to contemporary controversies over relationality, territoriality, and political action at a variety of scales. A normative implication of the paper concerns the learning capacities of contesting actors to forge alliances and achieve their ambitions within path-dependent institutional frameworks.
KEY WORDS: Unions and Learning; Justice Movements; The Netherlands; United States.

Berik, G., & Bilginsoy, C. (2000). Do unions help or hinder women in training? Apprenticeship programs in the United States. Industrial Relations, 39(4), 600-624.


Trade unions are frequently criticized for excluding women from skilled crafts by denying them training. This article examines this argument by estimating the retention & attrition probabilities of men & women in the joint union-management & the unilateral employer-sponsored apprenticeship programs. While men, on average, have higher retention & lower attrition rates than women, joint sponsorship raises women's graduation probability above (& lowers their quit probability below) those of men or women apprentices in unilateral programs.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Females; Job Training; Apprenticeships; Vocational Education; Attrition; United States of America.

Berik, G., & Bilginsoy, C. (2002). Unions and women's training for the skilled trades in the U.S. The Review of Black Political Economy, 29(4), 97-122.


Trade unions in the US have a track record of exclusionary behavior toward women & people of color who seek to enter the skilled trades via apprenticeship. This study evaluates this argument by comparing women's representation in apprenticeship programs organized with & without union participation. Using a national-level dataset on new apprentices over 1989-1995, it finds that women's share in training is higher in the union programs & that this result holds for white women, black women, & Latinas. Moreover, compared to their respective shares in the labor force, black women are better represented among new apprentices than white women.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Working Women; Apprenticeships; Job Training; Affirmative Action; Black Americans; Latin American Cultural Groups; Whites; United States of America.
Berik, G., & Bilginsoy, C. (2006). Still a wedge in the door: Women training for the construction trades in the U.S. International Journal of Manpower, 27(4), 321-341.
Used are individual-level data on registered apprenticeship for 10 largest construction occupations from 31 states in the U.S. to evaluate the variations in the entry and exit of women apprentices, overall and by race/ethnicity, over the 1995-2003 period. Examined are how women's are represented among new apprentices, and their attrition and retention rates varies with individual, training program, and occupational characteristics. Women's representation among new trainees is very low and deteriorating. Findings confirm previous findings based on data for the early 1990s that program sponsorship has significant impact on women's representation and retention. Women have better chances of joining the high-skill construction workforce if they enroll in union-contractor joint programs. Joint programs feature higher shares of women in the incoming classes and higher odds of graduation in comparison with the unilateral contractor programs. The union impact on shares of enrollees is the largest for Black women and the lowest for White women, while White women have higher completion rates than Latinas and Black women. In conclusion, union sponsorship enhances women's integration into the skilled trades, but it is not sufficient. Increasing participation of women in apprenticeship and skilled workforce requires major changes in policies, priorities, and behavior of contactors, unions, and the government to actively recruit women and improve working conditions at the construction site.
KEY WORDS: Economics; Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination; Economics of Gender; Non-Labor Discrimination; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; Formal Training Programs; On-the-Job Training; Trade Unions; Apprenticeship Training; Skilled Trades; Women; Unions.

Berry, J. T. (2003). Contingent faculty in higher education: An organizing strategy and Chicago area proposal. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 63(11).


The increasing employment of contingent (non-tenure track) faculty in U.S. higher education has become one of the major issues in higher education since the 1970s. Higher levels of activism among the contingent faculty themselves has recently become a coordinated national movement. The rich literature on contingent faculty is largely from the point of view of administrators. Minimal published works have yet attempted to set forward a comprehensive national strategy for contingent faculty organization, though the discussion has begun. This PDE draws upon 2 decades of personal experience. Current statistical data bases and published studies, as well a personal experience, were consulted in order to create a map of the workforce nationally and in more detail for Metro Chicago. Personal interviews were conducted with organizers, covering nearly all of the relevant campaigns in the Chicago area over twenty years. Interview findings are reported and discussed. The core of this PDE is a strategic plan for a social action project, namely the organization of contingent faculty. Major considerations for a national strategic plan are then applied to the Chicago area in the form of a specific proposal, along with a brief local history. The main focus of the strategy is that the particular characteristics of this workforce demand a unique combination of elements to make an effective strategy and to maximize the evident readiness of these workers for organization. The metro strategy, as it's sometimes called, must include collective bargaining with individual employers, as well as broader organization. The author describes how the metro strategy might be applied to the over 16,000 contingent faculty in Chicago. The author adds to the recent literature on new strategies for union organizing by applying the emerging principles of member mobilization and decision making, tactical and organizational flexibility and community alliances to the situation of one of the largest groups of contingent workers. It is hoped that the study can be applied usefully by organizers and organizational leaders.
KEY WORDS: College Faculty; Temporary Employment; Chicago, Illinois; Unionization; Labor Movements.

Booth, A. L., Francesconi, M., & Zoega, G. (2003). Unions, work-related training, and wages: Evidence for British men. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 57(1), 68-91.


Using data for the years 1991-96 from the British Household Panel Survey, the authors investigate how union coverage affected work-related training & how the union-training link affected wages & wage growth for a sample of full-time men. Relative to noncovered workers, union-covered workers were more likely to receive training & also received more days of training. Among workers who received training, those with union coverage enjoyed greater returns to training & higher wage growth than did those without. While some of these results have been found in previous studies, others are new. The wage results, in particular, suggest a need for rethinking the conventional view that union wage formation in GB reduces the incentives to acquire work-related training.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Wages; Great Britain; Job Training; Workers.

Bratton, J. (2001). Why workers are reluctant learners: The case of the Canadian pulp and paper industry. Journal of Workplace Learning, 13(7/8), 333-343.


Explores worker flexibility, through learning, union strategies, and resistance to learning issues of flexibility, learning, and quality are subject of much debate, negotiation, and conflict in the Canadian pulp and paper industry. A key bargaining issue for management has been to harness flexibility among the manual craft workers, to improve labour productivity. Within this context, workplace learning is not neutral or independent of day-to-day union-management relations: it is a contested issue. Learning new skills is viewed as a threat to job control and security and presents a paradox: learning new trade skills enhances individual workers' flexibility and employability but collectively weakens the union through job losses. Data were collected from pulp mills in British Columbia between 1996 and 1999 survey and qualitative data provides evidence that workers' resistance to learning is part of the contested arena of productivity and job control.
KEY WORDS: Trade Unions; Collective Bargaining; Workplace Learning.

Brown, W. A., & Ryan, P. (2003). The irrelevance of trade union recognition? A comparison of two matched companies. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Department of Applied Economics.


Two UK business services companies are compared both to each other and to their common state-owned industry background in order to assess the implications of trade union recognition and changed bargaining structure. Union recognition had been abandoned by one company under the agenda of ‘individualization’ and ‘personal contracts’ but retained by the other under the agenda of ‘partnership’. Changes in the level at which employment relationships are regulated occurred at both companies relative to their ancestral public enterprises. The similarity of the companies in terms of products, technologies and institutional history provides an approximation to a natural experiment. The evidence suggests only secondary effects from union presence upon operational attributes and economic performance, but major effects from the decentralization of employment relations, which formed part of a wider and more radical set of changes in the relevant markets, technologies, ownership structures and labour law.
KEY WORDS: Labor Unions; Unions Recognition; Union Presence; Bargaining; Institutional Relations; Great Britain.

Cambalikova, M. (2007). Gender equality: The new agenda of the "old" social partners? Sociologia - Slovak Sociological, 39(3), 191-213.


This article focuses on analysing the content of gender mainstreaming in collective agreements at company and sectoral levels, in the activities (especially collective bargaining) of social partners -- particularly the trade unions - in the surveyed companies or sectors. The contents of relevant collective agreements (company and sectoral collective agreements) were analysed, and semi-standardized interviews were conducted with the respective collective bargainers in the Slovak Republic (SR). The research shows that social partners in SR, especially unions, rank themselves among the leading partners in the processes, and are aware of their specific role and function in those processes. They have been acting in the area of principles and practices concerning reconciliation between work and private (family) life for a long time and at a standard European level. In general, the surveyed collective agreements established more specific instruments and measures for reconciliation between work and family (private) life than for implementation of equal opportunities for men and women. Instruments and measures aimed at reconciliation between work and family are connected especially with the use of the social fund of the enterprise and guarantee to the employees more paid free days (for e.g. caring for sick family member, wedding or funeral in the family, accompanying child to school on child's first school day) than provided under the Labour Code, application of the flexible working time and organising of various cultural, sport, leisure and recreational activities for families of the employees.
KEY WORDS: European Studies; Social Equality; Gender Studies; Collective Bargaining; Social Justice; Discrimination; Social Systems; Labour Market; Slovakia.

Chung, Y.-D. (2001). The two faces of unionism: A dual closure approach to contradictory behavior in U.S. labor unions. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 62(1), 346-A.


This study examines how union organizational characteristics influence union behavior. This study starts with a criticism of Freeman and Medoff's theory of "the two faces of unionism." I show that union membership exclusion is related to union usurpation, i.e., union organizing drives. Organized labor's contradictory behavior (exclusionary behaviors undermining usurpationary activities) is argued to be a primary cause of union decline in the U.S. Union bureaucracy and unresponsive union leadership have been critical barriers to strengthening worker power and to enhancing class solidarity among the working class. The growth of union bureaucracy controlled by union leadership and the decline of union democracy by the rank-and-file weakened class solidarity among the working class and precipitated the withering of the labor movement. This model of union dual closure as a new paradigm for unionism provides an infrastructure for sociological theorizing in the analysis of organized labor's contradictory behavior. The conceptualization of union dual closure was mainly derived from a historical analysis from the mid-nineteenth century to the modern period. I found that there have existed two different types of union dual closure: positive union dual closure and negative union dual closure. This study applied these historical insights to develop a new model of the labor movement. Based on this theory building, I examined the reciprocal relationships between contemporary measures of exclusion and usurpation for the population of 111 U.S. national unions in 1990. Findings show that union democracy and rank-and-file participation greatly increase usurpationary activities. These results indicate that union democracy, rank-and-file internal voice, and the inclusion of all the levels of the working class are a catalyst for creating a robust labor movement. My analyses generally support the theory of negative union dual closure. In order to build a strong labor movement, it is ideal for all unions to pursue a collective voice-usurpation model, which is based on the theory of negative union dual closure. This implies that responsive union leadership and active rank-and-file involvement in union activities are essential and must develop further in order to revitalize the U.S. labor movement.
KEY WORDS: United States of America; Unions; Organizational Behavior; Unionization; Working Class; Labor Movements; Social Closure.

Clark, P. F. (2000). Building more effective unions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


Employers have long turned to behavioral science for guidance on making their organizations more effective. Labor scholar Paul F. Clark believes union leaders should also take advantage of the valuable discoveries made in this field, and he offers a straightforward account of how they can do so. Much of the behavioral science research relevant to unions relies on complex statistical analyses and is disseminated through scholarly journals. This clearly written book makes the findings of behavioral science accessible to those committed to building a stronger labor movement. It describes behavioral science's understanding of such topics as organizational commitment and member participation and suggests how this knowledge can best be applied to unions. Building More Effective Unions offers practical strategies unions can use to their advantage in a number of areas, including: -Union participation -Organization and retention -Union orientation and socialization -Political action -Grievance procedures -Information and communications -Union image-building -Union culture -Union leadership The book features examples of how unions and their leaders have benefited from putting the principles of behavioral science into practice.

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