Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Catalanello, Ralph F.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Management committees; Employees' representation in management


This thesis will examine, via a field study, private-sector utilization of employee committees. Further, it will determine the utility of these committees for employers and their employees. Since the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, employer support of such committees which "deal with" substantive matters of the employment relationship (such as wages, hours, and conditions of employment) has been prohibited. This statute has been interpreted very literally by the National Labor Relations Board, and has been rigorously enforced. With few exceptions, the Board’s opinions have been upheld by the federal courts. The field study will show that such committees continue in use today, and that employers who utilize them report that they provide positive effects and favorably influence the labor relations climate in their firms. Other data will show, and analysis will demonstrate, that employees generally approve of this form of participative management and, therefore, such committees also have utility for them, as well. A review of Board and court cases will show that even though our policy with respect to such committees remains unchanged, some liberalization in interpretations of committee applications has occurred. Other data will be presented to show that the time is ripe for a reexamination of and change in the long-standing pro- hibition of employer support for employee committees. The thesis concludes with recomnendations concerning appointments to the Board to provide more balanced opinions in the practice of labor relations, and for an amendment to the statute to provide private- sector employees with full freedom of association and choice of bargaining agents, including employer-supported employee committees.


Bibliography: pages 65-67.


67 pages




Northern Illinois University

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