Queen's University IRC

Will the Unionized Workplace Attract and Retain New Talent?


Ken Kaiser

March 1, 2008

Do unionized organizations in British Columbia face a greater challenge attracting and retaining new post-secondary graduates? Does the often adversarial nature of the union-management relationship translate into a culture that is perceived as negative and inconsistent with Gen X-Y workplace values? To what extent does a perceived negative workplace culture affect their decision to join or stay? What can employers and unions do to reshape any negative perception that may exist? These are questions that Ken Kaiser, faculty member in the School of Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, has posed in human resource management and labour relations classes for several years. His answer: workplaces with a perceived adversarial culture are at a serious disadvantage in competing for young, trained professionals.

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