Organization in a Changing Environment: Unionization of by Russell K. Schutt

By Russell K. Schutt

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Additional resources for Organization in a Changing Environment: Unionization of Welfare Employees (Suny Series in the Sociology of Work)

Sample text

They function in an environment composed of other organizations and individuals, and their success and failure, their growth and contraction cannot be understood apart from that environment. A publicity campaign may enhance recruitment efforts in a receptive environment, yet mobilize opposition in a hostile environment. The militant union strike that leads to substantial gains during a period of economic expansion is likely to do no more than bankrupt the union treasury during a recession. It seems unlikely that the path of organizational development can be understood without knowing the medium through which that path is traced (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978:1).

This history is divided into two major sections. The first section encompasses the union's initial emergence and its first two strikes (chapters 4 and 5), and the subsequent period of limited growth (chapter 6). This section is preceded by a discussion of public welfare work in the 1960s (chapter 3), and followed by a description of the reorganization of Chicago public welfare work in the early 1970s (chapter 7). The consequences of this reorganization are investigated through study of the union's subsequent history in chapter 8, and in chapter 9 through analysis of survey data.

Grievances expressed by employees during the period of unionization in the 1960s are then discussed, and the resources available to employees are identified. Factors are noted which had once constrained union organization but which were relaxed in the 1960s. Organizational Change If the characteristics of organizations remained constant throughout their history, the study of organizations could conclude with analysis of the conditions that shape their emergence. Such is not the case. Change, not stability, is the normal sequel to organizational emergence.

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