Choosing Union Representation: The Role of Attitudes and Emotions

20 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2014

See all articles by Adrienne E. Eaton

Adrienne E. Eaton

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Sean E. Rogers

New Mexico State University - Department of Management & General Business

Tracy Chang

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick

Paula B. Voos

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Labor Program

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

In the United States, most unions are recognised by a majority vote of employees through union representation elections administered by the government. Most empirical studies of individual voting behaviour during union representation elections use a rational choice model. Recently, however, some have posited that voting is often influenced by emotions. We evaluate competing hypotheses about the determinants of union voting behaviour by using data collected from a 2010 representation election at Delta Air Lines, a US‐based company. In addition to the older rational choice framework, multiple regression results provide support for an emotional choice model. Positive feelings toward the employer are statistically significantly related to voting ‘no’ in a representation election, while positive feelings toward the union are related to a ‘yes’ vote. Effect sizes for the emotion variables were generally larger than those for the rational choice variables, suggesting that emotions may play a key role in representation election outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Eaton, Adrienne E. and Rogers, Sean E. and Chang, Tracy and Voos, Paula B., Choosing Union Representation: The Role of Attitudes and Emotions (March 2014). Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 45, Issue 2, pp. 169-188, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2429564 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irj.12056

Adrienne E. Eaton (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
(848)932-8561 (Phone)
(732)932-8677 (Fax)

Sean E. Rogers

New Mexico State University - Department of Management & General Business ( email )

United States

Tracy Chang

Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations - New Brunswick ( email )

Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States

Paula B. Voos

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Labor Program ( email )

50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
732-932-1748 (Phone)
732-932-8677 (Fax)

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