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Agency and the deunionisation of managers in an Australian telecommunications company


Barton, R and Van den Broek, D, Agency and the deunionisation of managers in an Australian telecommunications company, Journal of Management & Organization, 17, (2) pp. 210-225. ISSN 1833-3672 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2011

DOI: doi:10.1017/S1833367200001620


Discussions about deunionisation usually focus on lower levels of the workforce with managers seen as the initiators of deunionisation strategies. Managers, however, occupy contradictory positions as agents of capital, employees and possibly trade unionists. This can place them in the position of being both recipients and conduits in deunionisation strategies. The focus of the study is on Telstra, the major telecommunications carrier in Australia. Using a range of sources such as interviews and company and union materials, this qualitative research shows how between 1992 and 2000 Telstra's senior management's concerns over middle management agency prompted them to reframe the concept of a manager by using a set of managerial practices from the mining company CRA and the provisions of the Workplace Relations Act (1996) to individualise and deunionise their managerial ranks as a precursor to the deunionisation of the wider workforce.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:agency, managers, trade unions, deunionisation, Australia, telecommunications
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Industrial and employee relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Employment patterns and change
UTAS Author:Barton, R (Dr Ruth Barton)
ID Code:136160
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2019-12-03
Last Modified:2020-05-04

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