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Why are industrial relations in Spain competitive? Trust in management, union support and conflict behavior in worker representatives

In the current context of limited resources and economic, social and labour changes, organizational conflicts are becoming more and more competitive. Two possible explanations for this approach to conflict in Spain are the low trust between unions and management and the long tradition of confrontation in industrial relations. In this study we analyse the conflict pattern from worker representatives and the relation to trust in management and union support. The hypotheses are tested in a quantitative study of 719 representatives. Results show that a) representatives use a competitive conflict style; b) trust is negatively related to this style; and c) union support is positively related to the style. We explore how societal culture and historical industrial relations tradition explain these relations.

Patricia Elgoibar

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