What are the Main Impacts of Internet and Information and Communication Technology on Unions and Trade Unionism? An Exploratory Research in Europe and North America

What are the Main Impacts of Internet and Information and Communication Technology on Unions and Trade Unionism? An Exploratory Research in Europe and North America

Valéry Michaux (Reims Management School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-304-3.ch022
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Abstract

In a second step, this research shows that ICT poses threats but also offers opportunities for unions and trade unionism. The tensions between opportunities and threats led to the identification of four main types of challenges posed by ICT for unions in the industrialized world today.
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Methodology And Theoretical Framework: The Construction Of An Analytical Grid Allowing International And Cross Continental Comparisons On The Theme Of Unions

A qualitative exploratory approach has been chosen to tackle this problem. Indeed, there are few studies on the impact of ICT on unions and trade unionism. Canadian and American articles are the most numerous on the subject, but their number remains relatively limited. They are still rare in Europe. Moreover these different approaches reveal several analysis angles. Some articles focus more particularly on the difficulties to supervise the use employees and unions make of ICT whereas others focus more on the impact of ICT on the evolution of trade unionism and union practices. In the face of such heterogeneity, several stages of thematic analysis were necessary to identify major international trends. First of all, an analysis of articles devoted to ICT in the trade press and trade union press between 1999 and January 2005 and an analysis of trade union websites helped to highlight a number of observations in the French context. The main themes identified were then compared with the themes and thinking stemming from European research studies (mainly British and Swedish). Thirdly the main trends identified in Europe were compared with the themes and thinking stemming from research work carried out in North America. This threefold exploratory, documentary analysis led to the construction of a reading grid. Indeed, ICT having had many significant impacts on unions and trade unionism, it was necessary, in order to bring out the threats and opportunities it represented, to build a two-dimensional grid that would make international comparisons possible.

An object/subject dimension (c.f. Figure 1). Indeed, some challenges put ICT forward as a vector of union transformation. In this case, the union is an object of transformation. Other challenges put ICT forward as an object of negotiation for unions. In this second case, the union is no longer an object of transformation but an actor.

Figure 1.

First dimension of analysis

Key Terms in this Chapter

New Forms of Internal Democracy: Participation and involvement of trade-union’s members in general policy decisions of unionists.

Internal Codes of Practices About the Use of Internet in Organizations: The objective of employers is to avoid and protect themselves against excessive, abusive, inappropriate or illegal use of the net by employees.

New Forms of Work: The way ICT and Internet impacts work.

Means of Expression, Action, and Pressure: The way Internet and ICT becomes means of expression (communication), action (defend of interests) and a new mean to develop and maintain the pressure on employers.

Legal Framework Evolution: The way the legal framework is evaluating to meet the challenges pose by ICT for trade-union.

Evolution of Industrial Relations: Evolution of the relations between the management of an industrial enterprise and its employee.

Trade-Unionism Practices Evolution: The way ICT and Internet impacts trade-unionism.

New Forms of Protest: Resurgence of autonomous and corporatist trends against the global practices of traditional federations which favours the emergence of new forms of direct protest by employees in the absence of traditional unions.

International Coordination Capacity: The capacity of Internet and the ICT to allow large international multi-stakeholders action.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Acknowledgment
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Chapter 1
Steve Foster
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Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations
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Chapter 2
Cataldo Dino Ruta
Intellectual capital is today considered a key issue in analyzing the critical determinants of company performance. Companies design more and more... Sample PDF
HR Portal: A Tool for Contingent and Individualized HRM
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Chapter 3
Barbara Imperatori, Marco De Marco
The evolution of the managerial discourse is the result of fashion lifecycles that sometimes have no rational or technical foundations and find no... Sample PDF
E-Work and Labor Processes Transformation
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Chapter 4
Gerwin Koopman, Ronald Batenburg
This chapter theoretically and empirically addresses the notion that user participation and involvement is one of the important factors for IS... Sample PDF
Early User Involvement and Participation in Employee Self-Service Application Deployment: Theory and Evidence from Four Dutch Governmental Cases
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Chapter 5
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
In organizations, researchers as well as professionals have generally observed insufficient use of computer technologies when compared to their... Sample PDF
Does User Centered Design, Coherent with Global Corporate Strategy, Encourage Development of Human Resource Intranet Use?
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Chapter 6
Nawaf Al-Ibraheem, Huub Ruël
Companies new to the e-HRM technologies are overwhelmed by the dilemma of choosing either the ready-made, off-the-shelf e-HRM systems, or develop... Sample PDF
In-House vs. Off-the-Shelf e-HRM Applications
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Chapter 7
Pieternel Kuiper, Betsy van Dijk
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Adaptive Municipal Electronic Forms
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Chapter 8
Hazel Williams, Carole Tansley, Carley Foster
Global, enterprise-wide, information systems (GEIS) projects are often delayed with budget over-runs often due to a lack of understanding of the key... Sample PDF
HRIS Project Teams Skills and Knowledge: A Human Capital Analysis
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Chapter 9
Adam Smale, Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä
The design and implementation of a globally integrated e-HRM system within a multinational corporation (MNC) requires different parties to reach... Sample PDF
IT-Based Integration of HRM in a Foreign MNC Subsidiary: A Micro-Political Perspective
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Chapter 10
Huub Ruël
Research on Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) implementation lacks theoretical depth and richness. For that reason this paper applies a... Sample PDF
Studying Human Resource Information Systems Implementation using Adaptive Structuration Theory: The Case of an HRIS Implementation at Dow Chemical Company
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Chapter 11
Jonas F. Puck, Dirk Holtbrügge, Alexander T. Mohr
This chapter empirically analyses the influence of the cultural context on the comprehensiveness to which companies in different countries make use... Sample PDF
Applicant Information and Selection Strategies in Corporate Web Site Recruiting: The Role of National Culture
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Chapter 12
Emma Parry, Shaun Tyson
HR practitioners are often expected to be both efficient administrators of the employment relationship and to act as a strategic partner to the... Sample PDF
What is the Potential of E-Recruitment to Transform the Recruitment Process and the Role of the Resourcing Team?
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Chapter 13
Pramilla Rao
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
The Role of National Culture on E-Recruitment in India and Mexico
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Chapter 14
Marielba Zacarias, Rodrigo Magalhães, José Tribolet
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
Modeling Human Resources in the Emergent Organization
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Chapter 15
Elfi Furtmueller, Celeste Wilderom, Rolf van Dick
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Utilizing the Lead User Method for Promoting Innovation in E-Recruiting
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Chapter 16
Sven Laumer, Andreas Eckhardt
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What Makes the Difference? Introducing an Integrated Information System Architecture for Employer Branding and Recruiting
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Chapter 17
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain
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The Enrichment of the HR Intranet Linked to the Regulation's Process Between HR Actors
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Chapter 18
Tanya Bondarouk, Vincent ter Horst, Sander Engbers
This research focuses on acceptance of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) in medium sized organizations. We look at general SME’s in The... Sample PDF
Exploring Perceptions about the Use of e-HRM Tools in Medium Sized Organizations
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Chapter 19
Loubna Tahssain, Mouna Zgheib
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Perceived Performance of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Perceived Performance of the Management of Human Resources (HRM)
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Chapter 20
Leon Welicki, Javier Piqueres Juan, Fernando Llorente Martin, Victor de Vega Hernandez
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Employee Life-Cycle Process Management Improvement with Web-Enabled Workflow Systems
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Chapter 21
Manel Guechtouli, Widad Guechtouli
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Information Technologies' Impact on Individual Learning Process: The Case of a Community of Practice
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Chapter 22
Valéry Michaux
In a second step, this research shows that ICT poses threats but also offers opportunities for unions and trade unionism. The tensions between... Sample PDF
What are the Main Impacts of Internet and Information and Communication Technology on Unions and Trade Unionism? An Exploratory Research in Europe and North America
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Chapter 23
Isabelle Parot
In this communication, the author attempts to answer the question of coordination in virtual teams (or remote teams). Virtual teams can result from... Sample PDF
Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control
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Chapter 24
Jeroen ter Heerdt, Tanya Bondarouk
In this chapter the authors present a revision of the information overload concept elaborated by Eppler and Mengis (2004). The main elements of our... Sample PDF
Information Overload in the New World of Work: Qualitative Study into the Reasons
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Chapter 25
Mitchell van Balen, Tanya Bondarouk
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HR Shared Service Centers: From Brand Management Towards Success
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About the Contributors