Employee Voice and Private Sector Workplace Outcomes in Britain, 1980-2004

Publication date: 27 Mar 2009 | Publication type: NIESR Discussion Paper | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity, Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Bryson, A | External Author(s): Gomez, R., Kretschmer, T. and Willman, P. | JEL Classification: J24; J51; J52; J53; J63 | NIESR Discussion Paper Number: 329

Non-union direct voice has replaced union representative voice as the primary avenue for employee voice in the British private sector. This paper provides a framework for examining the relationship between employee voice and workplace outcomes that explains this development. As exit-voice theory predicts, voice is associated with lower voluntary turnover, especially in the case of union voice. Union voice is also associated with greater workplace conflict and poorer productivity. Non-union voice is associated with better workplace financial performance than other voice regimes.

Keyword tags: 
employee voice
trade unions
industrial action
labour-management relations