Cornell University

March 17 2011

"Marching to Different Tunes"

Tapia’s comparison of cultures wins student paper award

Maite Tapia PhD'12Maite Tapia PhD'12 of ILR's International and Comparative Labor Department is the winner of a student paper competition sponsored by the University Council of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Programs.

It announced Tapia's award during meetings this winter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association in Denver, Colo.

The motivation for the student paper competition, the council said, "is to reflect the diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches to researching emergent phenomena in the field."

Tapia's paper is entitled "Marching to Different Tunes: Commitment and Mobilization in Trade Unions and Community Organizations."

It compared challenges in encouraging member mobilization, she said.

The findings illustrate how the trade union engages in a service-driven culture, cultivating commitment between the member and the union, Tapia said.

The community organization, in contrast, engages in a relational culture and exemplifies a form of social commitment between the members and the group, she said.

As a result, different types of commitment help explain why sustained member mobilization within a trade union is harder to achieve than within a community organization, said Tapia, awarded a $300 prize by the competition sponsor.