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No news is good news: The relationship between media attention and strike duration

No news is good news: The relationship between media attention and strike duration

Industrial Relations. January
2000, Vol. 39, Issue 1, Pages 139-160

Media attention has been overlooked as a potential determinant of strike duration. This study analyzed the impact of media attention on strike duration using a sample of the 90 largest U.S. strikes that occurred from 1980 to 1991. Results indicated that a strong positive relationship exists between prestrike media attention and strike duration, even while controlling for strike size, organizational fame, the occurrence of a federal intervention, the involvement of a famous union, history of conflict, and broad industry categories. A possible social psychological explanation—bargaining parties behave rigidly in response to increases in public attention—is discussed.