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This study examines individual differences in personality and attitudinal variables as predictors of union membership, with control for demographic and job-related factors. The data were collected from government employees in a work setting in which union membership was voluntary (N=582 males, 83% response rate). A survey questionnaire was used to assess extraversion, neuroticism, internal locus of control, organizational commitment, and two measures of job satisfaction. Demographic (age, marital status) and job-related (job level, tenure, geographical region) data were also collected. Information about union membership was obtained from union records.Hierarchical logistic regression analysis methods were used. Over and above the effects of demographic and job-related variables, neuroticism, external locus of control, organizational commitment, general job satisfaction, and dissatisfaction with workload were significant positive predictors of union membership. The extraversion × neuroticism interaction was also significant; the combination of low neuroticism and low extraversion was associated with a disproportionately low rate of union membership. All the significant variables were direct predictors of outcome; there was no evidence of mediation effects. These results are discussed with reference to the literature on the role of dispositional and attitudinal variables in relation to organizational outcomes, particularly union membership and participation. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Personality and Individual Differences

Publication Date





333 - 347