Introduction: employee voice: the key question for contemporary employment relations

Stewart Johnstone, Peter Ackers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


How much ‘say’ should employees have in the running of organizations and what form should ‘voice’ take? For some, employee voice is a synonym for trade union representation. For others, voice is a means of enhancing employee commitment and organizational performance. Some advocate workers’ control as an alternative to conventional capitalist organizations which are run for shareholders. There is thus both a moral and a political argument for a measure of democracy at work, as well as a business case argument which views voice as a potential link in the quest for increased organizational performance. The key debate for employment relations is which of the approaches ‘works best’ in balancing competitiveness and productivity, on the one hand, and fair treatment of workers and social justice on the other. The book offers a critical assessment of the main concepts and models of voice in the UK and Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinding a Voice at Work? New Perspectives on Employment Relations
EditorsStewart Johnstone, Peter Ackers
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780191813450
ISBN (Print)9780199668007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • employee voice
  • employee involvement
  • employee participation
  • employment relations
  • trade union
  • collective bargaining
  • employment relationship
  • industrial democracy
  • human resource management (HRM)


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