D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2012.
Specialization: Economics, Sustainability.
Union's evolving value proposition as seen by management, labor, and the larger community
217 pages. UMI #: AAT 3517814
Bibliographic Record in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
The United States has experienced the loss of thousands of well-paid union jobs over the past few decades. One particular Midwestern County has experienced the loss of union jobs as great as or greater than any region in America. Unemployment in Michigan's Genesee County reached 13.6% in 2010. In this descriptive case study, the researcher examined the support unions could provide to reverse jobs in the automotive industry. Participating in the case study were industry insiders, consisting of business, labor, and community leaders who have experienced the decline in unionization first hand. Four research questions were used to guide the study, which are: How is value defined, what value comes from unions, what role could unions play in the future to add value, and what barriers prevent unions from creating shared value? The theoretical framework of the study was built on labor economic theory as well as general system theory. Several elements of labor economic theory emerged from the study including the premium wage theory and the use of capital to offset high labor costs. One finding was that the premium cost of unionized workers was of less concern as long as value was being provided. The evolving value proposition of unions that emerged was the protection of workers; support for community charities; and competency in providing vocational training, which could improve workforce proficiency. Recommendations for action were provided for each group represented in the research. Management must provide a vision for the future with sustainable actions. Labor leaders can enhance the workforce though vocational training and skill improvement. Community leaders should continue to collaboratively promote diversifying the industry base. The benefit derived from this research provides the possibility of improving employment prospects; not only in Genesee County, but also in other communities that have experienced similar declines in union jobs.