Exercising Managerial Prerogatives: The Findings of Four Field Studies

Bruce Fortado
  • City & Society, June 1991, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1525/city.1991.5.1.76

What is it about?

In the 1980s, many managers became interested in taking the initiative in the labor relations sphere. Some people think of grievance processing as being like the scale of justice where the merits of each case are objectively weighed. This field study reveals management can use the grievance process as both a sword and a shield. Four cases show how managers planted a seed, microscoped a trouble maker, created a pilot policy and floated trial balloons.

Why is it important?

Most of the historic grievance literature dealt with the final step of arbitration, and only limited attention was paid to the "fractional bargaining" unions historically initiated in the earlier steps of the process. While the formal processes are important, much more can often be learned about work relationships by examining informal processes. This fieldwork broke new ground by exploring managerial initiatives in day-to-day grievance processing.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Fortado Bruce