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Commitment To The Union: Development Of A Measure And An Examination Of Its Correlates

M. E. Gordon, J. Philpot, R. E. Burt, C. Thompson, William E. Spiller
Published 1980 · Psychology

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The purpose of this article is to describe the development of a criterion for union commitment. Factor analysis is used to identify the statistical structure of the construct, and correlational data is employed to provide evidence of the construct validity of the dimensions identified. A questionnaire comprised of items measuring attitudes toward unions, union commitment, participation in the union, socialization influences, demographic and employment characteristics, and satisfaction with the job, company, and union was completed by 1,377 members of four locals of an international union. Respondents were white-collar, nonprofessional employees of a utility company whose union activities were curtailed by right-to-work laws and federal prohibitions against striking. Minres factor analysis with varimax rotation produced four interpretable dimensions: Union Loyalty (39% of common variance), Responsibility to the Union (19%), Willingness to Work for the Union (17%), and Belief in Unionism (13%). Socialization experiences were the best predictors of Union Loyalty and Belief in Unionism, and reports of past and present union activity were the strongest correlates of the remaining factors. All of the satisfaction variables displayed significant positive correlations with Union Loyalty but were negatively correlated or unrelated to the other three commitment factors. The implications of this work are discussed from the standpoints of future development of the union commitment criterion, relationship to previous information regarding organizational commitment, the stewardship of unions, and the application of industrial-organizational psychology to union human resource problems.
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