Influential Factors in University Collective Bargaining Leadership: One Woman’s Lived Experience as Chief Negotiator

By Laura Dahlstrom, Stephanie Miller and June LeDrew.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This case study examines the experiences of a female chief negotiator for 271 administrative, professional and technical employees at a mid-sized Canadian university. Semi-structured interviews, word elicitation, negotiation documents and journal were used as data collection sources to document the opportunities and obstacles that precipitated this faculty member being invited to be the volunteer chief negotiator. Her lived experiences were analyzed in the hopes of understanding how they assisted in bringing negotiations to successful closure. Additional interviews were conducted with the two other females on this negotiation team to gain their perspective on working with the first female to be chief negotiator of a primary collective agreement at this university. Analysis of the interviews revealed the following themes:
1) Gendered and sport experiences appreciably contributed to her preparation as chief negotiator;
2) Using humour strategically assisted in colouring her role as chief negotiator and her interaction with others throughout the bargaining process; and
3) The ability to contextualize the employment and economic environment during negotiations provided for a concise bargaining period.
Reflections on preparation and recruitment of females for leadership roles on workplace bargaining committees will be presented.

Keywords: Collective Bargaining, Leadership, Chief Negotiator, Negotiation, Gender, Sport, Humour

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.93-106. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 787.819KB).

Laura Dahlstrom

Graduate Student & Research/Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Laura Dahlstrom is a MSc Candidate at the University of Regina. She is interested in women’s leadership in sport, focusing particularly on women who coach male athletes. Laura is entering her second year of graduate studies within the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies under the supervision of Dr. Larena Hoeber. She also works as a teaching assistant and research assistant, and in her free time enjoys coaching track and field.

Stephanie Miller

Graduate Student & Research/Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Stephanie R. Miller is a MSc candidate at the University of Regina. Her area of focus is promoting and improving children’s health and physical activity in the schools and surrounding community. Stephanie is also a Sessional Lecturer at the University, teaching courses in Lifespan Motor Development and Personal Fitness and Wellness. She is also an instructor for the “Girls in the Game” program which promotes fair play, team play, and skill development in a variety of sports for girls 5-10 years old. Prior to enrolling at the University, Stephanie was an elementary and middle school physical education and health teacher in Windermere, Florida. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys long distance running and team sports.

Dr. June LeDrew

Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

June LeDrew, PhD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies and has been employed at the University of Regina for 22 years. In one professional capacity she teaches and researches in support of children’s health literacy. June has also volunteered for, and been appointed by, management and employee groups for a variety of University governance responsibilities. She relaxes by sitting in her ice fishing hut and ensuring the fire in her little wood stove doesn’t go out.


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