M4A2: Research Project Outline and Reference List

This assignment will help ensure students are on track with the term project. It will provide students with an outline to follow in preparing their final report.

Before you begin this activity, be sure that you have:

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Review the Assignment: Outline for Research Paper [PDF file size 71.3 KB]
Researched and found appropriate academic articles through the Excelsior College Library

When you’ve completed the outline, you will attach to the drop box area below.

Please note, this assignment is not graded, but it is required. Failure to submit this assignment will result in a zero on the final paper.


Expert Answer

Reasons for the Trade Union Decline in the Developed Countries


Over the past ten years, trade union density and memberships have been on a continuous decline, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. Several reasons have been proposed as to why there has been a union decline in the developed nations. Some people believe that trade unions themselves are to blame for their decline, while others believe that factors such as globalization and changes in the labor market are the causative agents of the union decline (McIlroy, 1995). In this research, evidence will be sought, through literature review, to determine the main reasons why there is a continuous union decline in the United States and the United Kingdom region. It is important to determine why trade unions are fading away, as this information will be necessary for the determination of the corrective actions and strategies that unions may take to ensure that they grow and avoid membership decline. Several concepts related to union decline and performance, such as union organization and labor acts have been studied in this course. These concepts will be valuable in the development of the research.

  2. External factors that have contributed to union decline (Macro-economic Factors):

The various changes in the economic, legal, political, and social external environment will be discussed in relation to how they have affected unions. Strategies that employers and organizations have adopted in recent years will also be discussed to identify their effect on trade unions and employee-employer relations. Course concepts such as union organizing strategies and HRM practices will be incorporated in this section.

  1. Body Paragraph: Economic and Social Changes (Dundon & Rollinson, 2011; Colling & Terry, 2010).
  2. Body Paragraph: Legal and Political Changes (Freeman & Pelletier, 1990).
  3. Body Paragraph: Changes in Employer Strategies (Fiorito, 2001).
  4. Internal factors that have contributed to union decline:

The various internal factors that have affected the performance and growth of trade unions will be analyzed in this section. Concepts such as the organizational structure of labor unions, changes in the industry, and union activity will be discussed in this section.

  1. Body Paragraph: Low union pro-activity and decline in activism (Bryson & Gomez, 2005; Pelling, 2016).
  2. Body Paragraph: Inability of unions to adapt to industry changes (Ndiritu, 2015).
  3. Body Paragraph: Organizational structure problems (Pelling, 2016).
  • Discussion and Conclusion:

A brief review of the main points from the literature review. Recommendations will be provided on how trade unions can cope with the challenges facing them and deal with the factors pushing them towards decline.




Bryson, A., & Gomez, R. (2005). Why have workers stopped joining unions? The rise in never‐membership in Britain. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 43(1), 67-92.

Colling, T., & Terry, M. (Eds.). (2010). Industrial relations: Theory and practice. John Wiley & Sons.

Dundon, T., & Rollinson, D. (2011). Understanding employment relations. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Fiorito, J. (2001). Human resource management practices and worker desires for union representation. Journal of Labor Research, 22(2), 335-354.

Freeman, R., & Pelletier, J. (1990). The impact of industrial relations legislation on British union density. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 28(2), 141-164.

McIlroy, J. (1995). Trade unions in Britain today. Manchester University Press.

Ndiritu, G. (2015). Challenges Facing Trade Unions in the Modern Society: “THE CURRENT EXODUS”.

Pelling, H. (2016). A history of British trade unionism. Springer.

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