NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Will Unionism Prosper in Cyber-Space? The Promise of the Internet for Employee Organization

Wayne J. Diamond, Richard B. Freeman

NBER Working Paper No. 8483
Issued in September 2001
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper argues that the low cost of information, communication, and interaction on the Web offers trade unions opportunities to improve services and attract members and thus reinvent themselves for the 21st Century. Analyzing current use of the Internet by unions in the United Kingdom and United States, we develop five hypothesis about the impact of the Internet on unions. 1) the Customized Services hypothesis that unions will individualize services; 2) the Cyber-organizing hypothesis that the Web will ease organization and produce virtual minority unions at many non-union firms; 3) the Cyber-democracy hypothesis that the Web will enhance democracy in unions; 4) the Cyber-dispute hypothesis that the Web will become an important space for industrial disputes; and 5) the New Internationalism hypothesis that the Web will strengthen the international labor community. If unions fail to exploit the opportunities on the Web to gain members, we expect other organizations, Internet recruitment sites, specialized advice centers, and the like, to fill the e-union niche.

download in pdf format
   (252 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (252 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8483

Published: Diamond, W. J. and R. B. Freeman. "Will Unionism Prosper In CyberSpace? The Promise Of The Internet For Employee Organization," British Journal of Industrial Relations, 2002, v40(3,Sep), 569-596.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Frankel The Estimated Trade Effects of the Euro: Why Are They Below Those from Historical Monetary Unions among Smaller Countries?
Freeman w9254 The Labour Market in the New Information Economy
Freeman and Rehavi w13850 Helping Workers Online and Offline: Innovations in Union and Worker Organization Using the Internet
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us