Gewerkschaftliche Mitgliedschaftsloyalität

Eine empirische Analyse der IG Metall-Mitgliederbindung in der Fahrzeugindustrie und im Maschinenbau

Pyhel, Jörn

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-89958-387-8, 2008, 324 Pages

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-3879

Zugl.: Kassel, Univ., Diss. 2007

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Content: Trade unions’ membership loyalty in Germany

An Empirical analysis of the membership loyalty of the IG Metall in the automotive and machine-building industries

Since German trade unions are not able to prevent none-members gaining from collective agreements they are facing the free-rider problem. Hence, there are no convincing economical arguments to make employees joining. However, the past has shown that trade unions are able to stabilize their membership. This empirical fact leads to the question how trade unions tie their members while being confronted with the free-rider option?

In order to solve this problem a wider perspective will be taken by considering value-based loyalty as well as reciprocal expectations at the workplace. Membership loyalty is analyzed systematically by this 3-dimensional model.

The analysis grounds in representative data gathered among members of the IG Metall who are employed in the automotive and machine-building industries. After a descriptive analysis of membership loyalty the effects of the three dimensions on the propensity to remain a member of the union and other forms of members’ engagement will be examined. The strong effect of value-based loyalty justifies the conclusion that this form of loyalty is the main resource of the union. The following part of the study keeps its focus on the determinates of membership loyalty. Of particular interest is the finding that the IG Metall has great potential in binding its members due to its organized works councils. Furthermore, its public reputation turned out to be highly relevant for membership loyalty. However, hypothesised effects of other factors proved wrong. This is the case for the distinction between white collar and blue-collar workers, socialization in the family or strike experiences.

For the IG Metall the results of the study give reason for optimism. By employing appropriate strategies it can improve the commitment of its members. Therefore, the popular opinion stressing that trade unions are victims of the zeitgeist has to be reappraised. Thus, unions themselves play a much more important role in their future than assumed.

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