chapter  14
33 Pages

Trade union democracy: the dynamics of different forms

WithMatt Flynn, Chris Brewster, Roger Smith, Mike Rigby

Democracy is a noble aim, but it is one that few service-oriented organizations, even non-profits, try to achieve. So why is it so important to the trade union movement? Democratic structures are often thought of as facilitating dissent, and thus creating a drag on strategic management. The Automobile Association is far less democratic than trade unions, and yet is cited as far more effective in delivering both tailored service for, and political influence on behalf of, its customers (Bassett and Cave 1993). Why do unions try to be democratic when democracy produces so few obvious benefits?