How do industrial relations climate and union instrumentality enhance employee performance? The mediating effects of perceived job security and trust in management

Alexander Newman, Brian Cooper, Peter Holland, Qing Miao, Julian Teicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we examine the effects of two key variables associated with union effectiveness on the job performance of employees, and the mechanisms that explain such effects. More specifically, we investigate whether employees' perceptions that their union has a constructive relationship with management (industrial relations climate) and is able to act as an agent for their concerns (union instrumentality) promotes their job performance by enhancing their perceived job security and trust in management. Drawing on three waves of data from 303 employees and their immediate supervisors within 17 private enterprises in China, we find employees' perceptions of union effectiveness influence their job performance by enhancing both their perceived job security and trust in management. These findings are consistent with social exchange theory and conservation of resources theory. This article contributes to the literature by improving our understanding of how unions influence employees' work performance and by explaining how employees' perceptions of the industrial relations climate and union instrumentality influence their job performance. It also sheds light on the important issue of the effectiveness of unions in China, a country where the centrality of the Chinese Communist Party is often considered to have reduced the instrumentality of unions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Resource Management
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • industrial relations climate
  • job performance
  • job security
  • trust in management
  • union instrumentality

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