Research Paper Help on Union Empowerment of the Work Place

Union Empowerment of the Work Place

Executive Summary

Despite the double sided opinions concerning the role of unions in workplace empowerment, it is shown to be a doubly beneficial tool to organizations. It is described in this paper as being effective in improving organizational efficiencies, improving informed decision making and better employee satisfaction due to improved human relations. This information may be beneficial to organization managements, employees as well as union leadership.


Most successful organizations in the recent times have policies and structures that allow their employees to be members of various professional and workers unions. While this is more beneficial to employees as it gives them collective bargaining power besides other benefits associated with union membership, it also serves to improve work place efficacy. It is however common to find where union membership is prohibited among organization members. This is common in small organizations, particularly those based in the third world countries where exploitation of workers takes center stage. Although this translates into lower benefits to employees, it also results in lower work place empowerment and subsequently lower efficiency in work. This paper addresses the issue of union membership, particularly its role in the empowerment of workers and the benefits it offers to organizations as a whole.

Purpose of paper

In order to achieve its purpose of describing the empowering benefits of union membership to work places, the specific objectives of this paper are:

  1. To define union membership in the work place and identify the features associated with union membership.
  2. To outline the impacts of union membership on employee empowerment


This report targets information for parties in a work place. Organizations management should read this report to inform them of the numerous benefits associated with unionization of employees. Apart from managers, employees should also read this report so as to understand the benefits that they should be enjoying by virtue of being members of unions. Moreover, union leaderships may also use this as a guideline in aligning their union objectives to the objectives of various organizations that allow operational unions for the employees.

Work place Empowerment through unions

Work place empowerment can be taken to mean the provision of a voice of decision making to the employees in the work place or in other words, the participation of employees in work place decision making (Ciulla, n.d). Unionization of employees plays an important role in ensuring that employee empowerment is achieved.

Through engagement in unions, employees are given a voice to air their views collectively and thus engage in the organizational decision making process to a given extent. Participation in the decision making process empowers employees and thus makes them more efficient and productive. According to Wilton (2010), employee empowerment can lead to business benefits through improved collective and individual performance at assigned tasks. This is explained to be due to the satisfaction gained by workers regarding their involvement, particularly based on the autonomy and the freedom of self-expression that is commonly associated with union membership. This results in a win-win situation where the management still feels in charge and the employees also feel involved in the decision making process. Everyone thus accomplishes their tasks with diligence.

Doughty (n.d), describes the impacts of employee empowerment in the work place based on the psychology of human relations. While this empowerment cannot aid in solving organizational structural problems, it plays an important role in the improving organizational excellence by offering a front for dialogue in conflict situations.

Another benefits of employee unionization to the work place lies in the provision of information regarding various employment positions to the management thus enhancing informed decision making. For instance, safety representatives in the work place can be educated by their organizations on the work place safety standards. They may recognize safety hitches at their places of work and inform the management thus encouraging informed decision making (Menendez et al., n.d).


Ciulla, J. (n.d). Leadership and the Problem of Bogus Empowerment in Ciulla, J. (Ed). Ethics: The Heart of Leadership 2nd Ed, p. 59-82.

Doughty, H. (n.d). Employee Empowerment: Democracy or Delusion. The Public Sector Innovation Journal 9(1).

Menendez, M., Benach, J., & Vogel, L. (n.d). The Impact of Safety Representatives on Occupational Health: A European Perspective. European Trade Union Institute.

Wilton. (2010). Chapter 10: Employee Relations. Web. 15 Jan 2015. Retrieved from