Employer associations, dual membership and the problem of conflicting policies

Louise Thornthwaite, Peter Sheldon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Many employers belong to more than one employer association, and often to associations with different and sometimes conflicting policies on major aspects of industrial relations. In the case of national associations, dual membership may exist in associations which have high public profiles and widely publicised policies which are fundamentally distinct. This raises the following critical questions. First, how do employers with dual membership behave when confronted by their associations with conflicting policies? Second,what are the implications of dual membership for cohesion within and among employer associations? To address these questions, this study focuses on employers who belong to the Business Council of Australia and the Metal Trades Industry Association between 1983 and1995. During this period, these associations held strongly conflicting policies on bargaining structure. This paper examines the behaviour and attitudes of a selection of such members,towards the policies of these two associations on bargaining structure during these years
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Research in Industrial Relations
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 11th AIRAANZ Conference
EditorsTom Bramble
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherThe Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)0959070915
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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