A study of grievance procedure dimensionality in a non-union setting

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study was to analyze a nonunion grievance procedure and its relationship to employee attitudes toward their jobs and toward unionization. The analysis had three main focuses of concern. First, an investigation was made of the underlying dimensions of grievance procedures. Second, an assessment was made of employee satisfaction with a unique grievance procedure established for their use. Areas of inquiry were selected based on the concept of procedure multidimensionality. Third, the relationship between employee perceptions of the grievance procedure, job satisfaction, and employee attitudes toward union representation were investigated. This line of inquiry was based on the proposition that the availability of a grievance procedure in a nonunion setting reduces the likelihood that employees will perceive a need for union representation, and that the strength of this association depends on the procedure's acceptability to the employees.

The findings show the presence of five salient subdimensions of grievance procedures, that is, critical elements necessary for such a system to be judged acceptable for use by employees for resolving work related problems. Moreover, the data lends strong support for the belief that satisfaction with a grievance procedure available for use is strongly associated with an individual's intention to vote for representation by a labor union if given the opportunity to do so.