Human Resource Managers and the Closed Shop: Individuals and Organizations in NSW

Peter McGraw, Ian Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The closed shop is once again a focus of attention as the result of several states introdctcing legislation that seeks to outlaw the practice. This is despite a number of academic studies that have suggested that managers have much to gain from the closed shop and are often active supporters of it. In this study the impact of the anti-closed shop provisions of the Industrial Relations Act, 1991 (NSW) are assessed by way of a survey that asked seventy human resource managers to indicate how the legislation had affected their organizations. The same managers were also asked about their personal views on the closed shop and any advantages and disadvantages they associated with the practice. The study concludes that, at the time of the survey, the impact of the legislation was limited and that 60 per cent of the surveyed organizations continued to operate closed shops as they did before the Act came into effect. This is despite the fact that the majority of managers had a strong personal antipathy to the closed shop and claimed to see few advantages in the practice. A number of possible explanations are put forward to explain the dissonance between individual views and organizational practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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