In the last three decades, the Danish trade union movement has experienced a decrease in memberships in a way that generally speaking has questioned their position as the representative of the interests of the Danish employees. This situation is well known but the trade union movements are still struggling to find a solution to the decline of their memberships. In 2013, one of the largest trade unions, HK (The Union of Commercial and Clerial Employees in Denmark), launched a new strategy to attract more members. The new strategy was to transform HK into an organizing trade union, which implied a whole new approach to their members. The object of this thesis is to analyse the strategy of the organizing trade union and its constitutive consequences. The thesis is studying HK’s construction of its own identity, the construction of the meaning of the member and its implications for the legitimacy of HK. The thesis applies to the theoretical framework of Niclas Luhmanns systems theory. More specifically, the analysis is based on Luhmanns analysis of semantics, analysis of forms and analysis of systems. The analysis of the members’ semantics shows how the member has changed from a predefined understanding to an open minded approach where the demands, values and the current situation of each and every member is the starting point – in other words, the member has been individualized. The analysis of form shows how HK is approaching the member through many different logics that all appeals in different ways. The analysis of systems shows how HK succeeds in being an organization with several identities – and all these different identities are communities. That means that no matter what problem HK is facing, HK is always doing it as a community. Thus the strength of the community becomes the answer to the member’s problems. The overall purpose of the organizing trade union is to increase the legitimacy. The conclusions of the three analyses are therefore discussed in the perspective of Marc Suchmans theory of legitimacy. The discussion shows how HK succeeds on increasing the legitimacy by having several identities at the same time. This paradoxical identity means that HK can appeal to different types of legitimacy at once and thus increase legitimacy.
|Educations||MSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||178|