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The Role of Organizational Factors in Mobilizing Professionals: Evidence from Nurse Unions in the United States and Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Nick Krachler, Jennie Auffenberg, Luigi Wolf

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-668
Number of pages26
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number3
Published13 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We would like to thank our research participants for dedicating their valuable time. Additionally, we would like to thank Becky Givan for her fantastic guidance and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. We also received extremely helpful comments from Virginia Doellgast and Ian Greer on recent drafts, as well as early support in developing the article from Rosemary Batt and Ariel Avgar. We also thank Shannon Gleeson for her much-appreciated support. We also received helpful comments from participants of the session ?Health System Changes and their Effects on Workers, Trade Unions and Organizations? at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. This research also benefited from a Cornell Engaged Graduate Student Research Grant. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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Scholars have intensely debated the conditions under which trade unions can successfully mobilize professionals. We explore an internationally comparative perspective on mobilizing professionals by asking how two nurse unions in the United States and Germany successfully limited management's prerogative over staffing levels. We found that German national institutions had little influence over the bargaining process; instead, factors at the level of organizations and their environment (leadership support, organizational restructuring, coalition-building with supportive stakeholders and framing) enabled mobilization. Based on a power resources perspective, we conclude that unions can mobilize professionals using militancy, even without much support from national institutions.

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