Abstract [Free and in the Public Domain, co-authoered w/ Vicki Fairbanks Taylor]
Undergraduate business students in North America are often unfamiliar with the labor organizing process and frequently fail to identify with the reasons why workers join unions. This article suggests a discussion exercise based on the 1979 film, Norma Rae, by 20th Century Fox, as an effective tool for familiarizing students with fundamental topics in labor relations such as the union organizing process, union avoidance strategies, and unfair labor practices. In addition, the film and the discussion-based exercise can be used to help students further explore the sources of individual attitudes toward unions, union instrumentality perceptions, union voting intentions, and contemporary issues in private sector labor relations. Collected data show positive responses from students who viewed the movie and participated in the discussion-based exercise. Suggestions are offered for using the film and the discussion-based exercise in the classroom to engage students in the study of labor relations.