Centralisering och reduktion av medlemsinflytandet i en stor facklig organisation
1979 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Centralisation and the reduction of membership influence in a large union organisation (English)
This dissertation binds together and draws conclusions from a research project concerning conditions surrounding the growth of a bureaucratic element in large (union) organisations. In order to promote a wider knowledge of these conditions, a study was made of the great constitutional reform which the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions underwent in 1941. An attempt was made to find the main driving force behind that constitutional reform.The study was drawn up as a case-study. The method is primarily historical-sociological. The data is primarily drawn from official sources and from the organisations. The results of a number of empirical studies are summarized.On a concrete level, it is possible to trace the Confederation's great constitutional reform back to conflicts between the Government and organisations operating within the labour market during the economic crisis at the beginning of the 1930's. The Government asserted its position in relation to the Labour organisations, and, as a last resort, threatened them with legislation. The putting through of the Saltsjöbaden Agreement between the Swedish Employers' Association and the Confederation of Trade Unions in 1938, with its subsequent changes towards authoritative centralisation in the Confederations1 s constitution, took the place of the legislation in question.On a more general level, centralisation and a reduction in membership influence may be seen as the price to be paid for the Confederation's method of adjusting itself to the development needs of a capitalist economic system. Within the Confederation of Trade Unions, a conflict developed between, on the one hand, the demands of members and the task of functioning as an organ of union struggle, and on the other, the demands of economic politics. These two demands were not always in harmony.The result of the case-study may thus be seen to be generally applicable on the causal side, in the restrictions which a capitalist economy's development, and the conditions of stabilisation politics, tended to set upon union activity (regarding conflict tactics and wage-policies). On the effect side, the results of the case-study are not generally appi i-cable. From the Government's side, conceivable measures in the face of conflict may include direct compulsion, informal appeals, or total passivity. From the organisation's side, possible reactions may range from voluntary cooperation to open conflict and struggle against the state. The main Swedish union organisations have, except in rare instances, cooperated voluntarily - under the latent threat of state intervention. The price, from the Confederation's side, has included a reduction of membership influence concerning conflict tactics and wage-policies.At the organisational level, this development has probably worked along with pressure from the Swedish Employers's Association, advantages to be gained from large-scale operation, and the need to find ways to solve inner conflicts, concerning, among other things, the enactment of the solidarity wage-policy under the restrictions mentioned above. Even the "inner dynamic" in large organisations, as identified by Robert Michels, has probably contributed to the total result.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1979. , 23 p.
, Research reports from the Department of Sociology, University of Umeå, ISSN 0566-7518 ; 52
Bureaucratisation, centralisation, membership influence, Trade Union, Economic Policy, Government and Organisation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-73657OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-73657DiVA: diva2:642055
1979-04-06, Södra paviljongerna, sal F2, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
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