Social Organization of the United States National Labor Policy Domain, 1981-1987 (ICPSR 9802)

Published: Feb 12, 1993

Principal Investigator(s):
David Knoke; Naomi J. Kaufman

Version V1

The purpose of this data collection is to provide information about the process by which various organizations become involved in debates about national labor policy. A policy domain is a set of organizations, both governmental and in the private sector, operating at the federal level and seeking to influence the decisions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government in some substantive arena--in this case, the regulation of labor practices. The central issue of the research is how the social structure of relationships among organizations in the national labor policy domain affect the processes by which policy proposals are generated, placed on the national political agenda, and subsequently enacted or blocked. To address this issue, the most active organizations in the United States labor policy domain were identified and contacted for interviews. A knowledgeable representative from each organization, typically a director of governmental affairs, was asked a battery of questions about his or her organization's involvement in shaping national policies. The general scope of these questions was (1) What particular issues in the labor field are of interest to the organization? (2) In what specific policy events between 1981 and 1987 did the organization participate, and what was the nature of that involvement? (3) What general patterns of interaction does the organization have with other participants in the national labor policy domain? Variables in the collection include collective bargaining regulations, participation of labor in management and control of enterprises, employee stock ownership plans, and internal organization and governance of labor unions and employer associations. Other items cover working conditions (safety and physical conditions), employment conditions (hiring, promotion, firing, layoff, retirement, time, and wages), social policies (pensions, insurance, maternity leave, and job rights), disadvantaged populations in the labor market (women, minorities, the handicapped, youth, the elderly, veterans, welfare, vocational education and retraining), discrimination in employment, and labor market policies (job creation, immigration, underground economy, and plant closings).

Knoke, David, and Kaufman, Naomi J. Social Organization of the United States National Labor Policy Domain, 1981-1987. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993-02-12.

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1981 -- 1987


Four complementary strategies were used to compile the list of labor policy domain organizations whose agents were to be interviewed. In descending order of importance, these methods were: organizations that testified before the Senate and House of Representatives labor committees and subcommittees, organizations mentioned in The New York Times labor articles, registration as a congressional lobbyist, and Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs filed.

Governmental and private sector organizations operating at the federal level.

personal interviews

survey data




  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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