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CEP discussion paper

Employee Voice and Private Sector Workplace Outcomes in Britain, 1980-2004


Non-union direct voice has replaced union representative voice as the primary avenue for employee voice in the British private sector. This paper provides a framework for examining the relationship between employee voice and workplace outcomes that explains this development. As exit-voice theory predicts, voice is associated with lower voluntary turnover, especially in the case of union voice. Union voice is also associated with greater workplace conflict and poorer productivity. Nonunion voice is associated with better workplace financial performance than other voice regimes.


Alex Bryson, Rafael Gomez, Tobias Kretschmer and P Willman

April 2009     Paper Number CEPDP0924

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.