Investigating 'Voice' at Work

(2012) 33(3) Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 323-354

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34/2012

Posted: 11 Jun 2012

See all articles by Alan L. Bogg

Alan L. Bogg

University of Bristol

Tonia Novitz

University of Bristol - School of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

‘Voice’ is a central organising concept in the discourse of labour law and Human Resource Management (HRM). There is, however, significant contestation within that discourse as to what is meant by voice: whose voice? For what purposes? What kind of process? And how does it relate to private property and managerial prerogative? The purpose of this article is to develop a basic grammar of voice so that it acquires more precision as an analytical concept. It begins by examining the historical context to the emergence of ‘voice’ in labour law and industrial relations theory in the post-war period. It then examines contemporary problems and ambiguities in the use of voice as an organising concept: the role of voice in deliberative models of reflexive governance, and the risks and opportunities of deliberative democracy in the sphere of work; the role of voice in HRM discourse, and the significance of Hirschman’s work on ‘loyalty, exit and voice’ in understanding its role; as well as challenges posed by the fragmentation of worker identity on the concept of voice.

Keywords: Labour law, human resource management, voice, industrial relations theory

Suggested Citation

Bogg, Alan L. and Novitz, Tonia A., Investigating 'Voice' at Work (June 1, 2012). (2012) 33(3) Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 323-354; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 34/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2081978

Alan L. Bogg (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

WIlls Building
Queens Road
Bristol, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

Tonia A. Novitz

University of Bristol - School of Law ( email )

Wills Memorial Building
Queen's Road Clifton
Bristol BS8 1RJ, BS8 1RJ
United Kingdom

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