Why do people join trade unions? The impact of workplace union density on union recruitment

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


In this study the reasons for joining a trade union are analyzed statistically using high quality data from Statistics Denmark comprising the entire Danish workforce combined with European Social Survey data from rounds 1-3. These data enables measuring the effect of union density at the workplace level on union recruitment, which is not done before. Workplace union density is taken to measure the strength of the workplace’s custom of being union member creating an instrumental incentive to join the union. Self-placement on a political left-right scale measures political attitude taken to be a value rational motive. The statistical results indicate that the most important predictor of joining the union is workplace union density and only in a secondary manner does political attitude matter. It is concluded that the normative pressure of one’s colleagues is the dominating reason for joining a trade union.
Bidragets oversatte titelHvorfor melder folk sig ind i fagforeninger?: Betydningen af organisationsgrad på arbejdspladsniveau for fagforeningsrekruttering
Publikationsdato20 jun. 2013
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 20 jun. 2013
BegivenhedEuropean ILERA Conference - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland
Varighed: 20 jun. 201322 jun. 2013
Konferencens nummer: 10


KonferenceEuropean ILERA Conference
LokationUniversity of Amsterdam

Bibliografisk note

At the ILERA Europe Conference in Amsterdam, Holland, June 2013, Jonas Toubøl was awarded the 'ILERA Transfer Young Researcher Prize' for this paper. The award was issued by the journal 'Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research.


  • Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet - Union recruitment, union density, social custom theory, political attitude, rational choice, value rationality, European Social Survey

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