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The Union Learning Agenda and trade union revitalisation in Wales

Huxley, Katy Laura 2015. The Union Learning Agenda and trade union revitalisation in Wales. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis evaluates the Union Learning Agenda (ULA) in Wales using Behrens, Hamann and Hurd’s (2004) model of trade union revitalisation. The political, economic, membership and institutional spheres of union learning activity were explored through a mixed-method study that utilised a quantitative survey of 246 ULRs in Wales, alongside interview, observation and documentary research methods. The examination showed that within a political social partnership environment unions extracted resources from government and gained policy influence. The evaluation of workplace activity showed that ULRs were organising broadly defined learning for colleagues, and developing bargaining and consultation with employers over vocational and educational training (VET). Procedural mechanisms were more common where there was employer support for ULR activity and substantive outcomes were greater where procedural mechanisms were in place. Further, ULRs were engaging members through broad rather than narrow definitions of learning, and supporting the development of union-commitment behaviours (Snape and Redman 2004). The ULA was increasing the infrastructural resources, internal solidarity and network embeddedness of trade union institutional capacity (Lévesque and Murray 2010), thereby contributing to trade union revitalisation processes. The thesis contributes to empirical knowledge on the ULA by providing the first analysis of activity in Wales. Secondly, it assessed the content and importance of multi-union and multi-actor activity in ULA networks. The thesis argues that in a context where government and employer support for union involvement is strong, a partnership approach to the ULA can aid union revitalisation not only at the workplace but beyond it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:27
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/78318

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