M2D2: Management Approaches/Philosophies

M2D2: Management Approaches/Philosophies

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Read Textbook Chapter 7
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Chapter 7[PDF file size 6.5 MB]

The first few chapters of the text focused on providing an analysis of the labor relations system in terms of how workers view unions, the history of unions and the legal and regulatory environment. To gain a better understanding of management’s attitudes, we’ve skipped ahead to Chapter 7. In this chapter, you have read about management’s approaches to unions from acceptance to avoidance, and the steps that managements have taken to implement their approach. In this discussion, you will have the opportunity to examine the approaches across industries.

In the first module, we examined why workers join unions and also assessed why business unionism was critical in establishing the first successful union movement in the U.S. Chapter 7 provides an overview of management’s attitudes and behaviors toward unions. As your text notes, through 1950s and late 1970s, managements, unions and government each had a role in the employment environment. With the changing economic landscape since then, many companies have shifted their position from union acceptance to union avoidance. In this discussion, we’ll examine factors that are critical for understanding management’s attitudes toward unions.

Since the 1970s, we have seen a shift in management’s attitude and approach toward unions. For this discussion, we will examine why this shift occurred and its implications for the future.

In your initial post please address the following:

What factors are important in understanding a company’s attitude/approach toward unionization of its employees?
Based on the factors you identified, what impact do you see for the U.S. workforce over the next 10 years?

Once you have posted your response, you must also read through your classmates’ posts. From the responses choose some that you find interesting and respond substantively to them. You are also responsible for responding to students who post comments regarding your initial posts. The goal is to create a dialog among the class.

See the Course Calendar for due dates for posts and responses.

Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click “Post Reply.”

To respond to a peer, click “Reply” beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.

This discussion will be graded using the discussion board rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade.


Expert Answer

Management Approaches/Philosophies

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There are several approaches that management or companies can have towards unionization of employees. To understand the approach of a company towards employee’ unionization, it is important to consider a number of factors. The history of a company is one key factor in the determination of the company’s approach to unionization (Butler, 2009). If a company has never been unionized, the company is likely to practice union avoidance to ensure that unions are not introduced to the employees. the shareholder value is another important factor. Where the shareholders have huge returns, the company may take an avoidance approach towards unionization since unionization results in a decrease of the returns for shareholders (Donaghey et al., 2012). The company’s investment decisions, leadership approaches, and industry structure are also important factors in the determination of approaches toward unionization. Based on these factors, the rate of unionization in the United States workforce is likely to continue reducing over the next ten years. This is because companies continue to focus on increasing shareholder returns and leadership in companies is focused on exercising total power over employee’ hiring and firing.


Butler, P. (2009). Non‐union employee representation: exploring the riddle of managerial strategy. Industrial Relations Journal, 40(3), 198-214.

Donaghey, J., Cullinane, N., Dundon, T., & Dobbins, T. (2012). Non-union employee representation, union avoidance, and the managerial agenda. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 33(2), 163-183.

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