Institutional Environments, Work and Human Resource Practices, and Unions: Canada vs. England
This analysis of data from a 2003–2004 telephone survey of 750 Canadian and 450English workers finds that work practices and human resource (HR) practices had important implications for unions. The effects differed by the type of practice(for example, traditional versus “new” HR), and were mediated by each country’sinstitutional environment. For example, traditional personnel/HR practices were strongly positively related to the likelihood of union representation and strongly negatively related to workers’ propensity to vote for a union in Canada, but made little difference to either of those union outcomes in England; and “alternative” work practices bore an inverse U-shaped association with union representation in Canada, versus a positive relationship with that outcome in England. In general, the Canadian findings are consistent with an adversarial dynamic, and the English findings with a more collaborative one.