Management and Organizational Studies Publications

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Labor Studies Journal

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The labor climate of an organization can have a great impact on productivity and efficiency. Managing this climate is often left to union stewards and management-side labor relations representatives. While there is a large literature on the role of union stewards, little is written about the role that management-side labor relations representatives play in establishing or maintaining positive labor-management relations. Building from a series of interviews with labor relations representatives in Canada and a nationwide pilot study of frontline industrial relations workers, we model the role of the labor relations representatives and their specific job actions in the established model of labor climate. Considering personal, structural, and attitudinal antecedents and measures of individual effectiveness, the study reveals that flexibility and informality matter more than formal education in industrial relations for creating positive labor climate. The study results indicate that labor relations representatives have the potential to play an important role in maintaining positive labor climate, if given more opportunity to take a proactive approach.


This is an author-accepted manuscript. The article was initially published by Sage Journals in Labor Studies Journal, 2019 and can be found online at:

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