Union Strategy in Developing Countries: Lessons from Indonesian Enterprise Unions in the Services Sector

Aryana Satrya (2009). Union Strategy in Developing Countries: Lessons from Indonesian Enterprise Unions in the Services Sector PhD Thesis, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Aryana Satrya
Thesis Title Union Strategy in Developing Countries: Lessons from Indonesian Enterprise Unions in the Services Sector
School, Centre or Institute School of Political Science and International Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Professor Paul Boreham
Total pages 321
Total colour pages 1
Total black and white pages 320
Subjects 16 Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary This thesis provides an analysis of the role and effectiveness of unions in selecting their strategy to meet the needs of their members in developing countries – in this case Indonesia after the late Soeharto regime stepped down in 1998. In particular, the focus of the research is to understand how the selection of particular union strategies might influence union effectiveness in the context of developing economies. The research involves a major empirical study of unions based on a comprehensive analytical framework. The study finds its relevance in providing both theoretical and practical strategies for unions operating in a constraining political environment and in an era where the power of unions in general has been sharply diminishing. Based on various theoretical models of union strategy, the thesis develops a measure that explores union strategy from the initial stage of strategy creation - namely the establishment of union aims - through the process of strategy-development, resulting in the forms of union methods and tactics that are used in day-to-day union operations. The thesis also develops a model of organisational effectiveness that enables a comprehensive picture of union effectiveness. The model was operationalised by the use of a survey questionnaire. The fieldwork was conducted between the period of January to June 2005 in enterprise unions in the services sector. Responses from 100 unions were analysed using multiple regression techniques. The results yielded five independent variables that contributed significantly to the prediction of union effectiveness. Those variables included partnership between unions and management, the use of innovation and training for empowering union members, setting up specific departments for dealing with industrial and organisational issues, and attempts to gain external support for strengthening unions’ negotiations with management. Altogether, these factors explained 65% of the variability in union effectiveness. Some important findings emerged from subsequent case studies that involved seven eligible unions. The most effective unions placed a strong emphasis on political goals by participating in the process of policy formulation both at the workplace and beyond the enterprise boundary. They employed both arbitration practices and relationships with political institutions to support their collective bargaining. A combination of tactical approaches including industrial action, provision of member services and use of information and communications technologies were used together with contemporary campaign themes such as workplace improvement and productivity. The most effective unions faced environments that discouraged workers from participating, including the existence of competitive wages, employee involvement plans, and covert anti-union strategies from companies. The results suggest that “consultancy” unionism is the dominant approach adopted by Indonesian unions in the services sector. This approach involves servicing members and developing only limited engagement with employers. Turning “consultancy” unionism into “partnership” unionism appears to be the most promising, approach to increased union effectiveness in the Indonesian context. To implement such a strategy, Indonesian unions have to strengthen their commitment to providing resources for organising, to boost participation among their members, and subsequently to construct a partnership based on “the collective power of workers”. The research has implications for unions, employers, and the state. For unions, the advantage of committing to establish a culture of organising builds a foundation for delivering a multi-tactical approach. However, in light of the limited strength of union power, that objective may best be achieved through partnership with employers. The findings concerning partnership strategies provide strong support for the government’s efforts at establishing industrial peace. Future comparative research to replicate this work in manufacturing industry or other countries in which enterprise unionism is the dominant union structure is to be encouraged
Keyword union strategy
union effectiveness
union democracy
enterprise union
developing countries
services sector
Additional Notes I apologise to submit again my corrected thesis because some page numbers did not appear on table of contents * colour: 12 * landscape: 80, 93-99, 101-104, 117-121, 125, 136, 301

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Created: Fri, 23 Apr 2010, 14:04:09 EST by Mr Aryana Satrya on behalf of Library - Information Access Service