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Michelle Kaminski - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Michelle Kaminski

Associate Professor of Human Resources & Labor Relations | Michigan State University


Michelle Kaminski is an expert in labor unions, right-to-work, women and leadership, collective bargaining and workplace bullying.





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Michelle Kaminski's area of expertise is focused o labor law, collective bargaining, steward training, communication skills, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the union role in team concept workplaces, and basic economic history. Kaminski researches teams, workplace health and safety, and women in organizations.

Industry Expertise (3)

Human Resources


Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (4)

Workplace Bullying

Right to Work

Labor Unions

Women and Leadership

Education (3)

University of Michigan: Ph.D., Organizational Psychology 1993

University of Michigan: A.M., Organizational Psychology 1988

State University of New York: B.A., Psychology, Economics 1982

Journal Articles (5)

It isn’t always rational: The psychology of voting and lessons for labor.

Labor Studies Journal

2010 Although labor studies research has commonly looked to sociology, history, and economics for new perspectives, behavioral psychology has largely been underutilized. This article provides a popular psychological model of behavior and examples of its application in issues of interest to labor, specifically the Employee Free Choice Act and the auto industry "rescue." It is the authors' belief that considering such models will provide a different viewpoint through which to analyze labor issues and promote further integration of psychology and labor studies.

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Women’s union leadership: Closing the gender gap

Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society

2008 Women comprise 44 percent of the labor movement, but a smaller percentage of union leaders. We discuss the importance of having a leadership that is representative of the membership, some of the differences between male and female leadership, and why the labor movement needs more women leaders. In order to promote women's leadership, we first discuss a four‐stage model of how union leaders develop: finding your voice, developing basic skills, figuring out the politics, and setting the agenda. We then add suggestions about what current union leaders can do to promote women's leadership at each of these four stages.

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Gender, organizational justice perceptions, and union organizing

Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal

2007 The authors examine the relationship between gender and organizational justice perceptions and the implications of this relationship for organizing women. They employ a survey study design to confirm expectations associated with the anecdotal literature on this topic, namely that women place greater value on interactional justice than on distributive or procedural justice. Results indicate that gender leads to valuing interactional justice more highly only in interaction with race. Specifically, in contrast to white women and both white and black men, black women give greater weight to being treated with dignity and respect than to the other two organizational justice dimensions.

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Rising income inequality in a time of plenty: The influence of micro-justice standards and group membership on micro-justice perceptions

Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal

2005 Rising income inequality in the 1990s was used to examine the links between micro- and macro-justice. Data from a sample of 119 managers and 334 union members supported our hypothesis that those who more strongly endorsed equality norms at the micro-justice level perceived macro-level income inequality as more unjust. Looking at two key subgroups, our hypothesis that union members were more likely than managers to endorse an equality norm was not supported. Yet managers were significantly more likely than union members to endorse an equity norm at the micro level, as predicted. Finally, our fourth hypothesis that the equality norm mediates the relationship between union membership and perceived injustice was not supported.

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Teaching Leadership to Union Women: The Use of Stories

Labor Studies Journal

2003 Union leadership classes can be the catch-all of labor education. Such programs may include theories about effective leadership, personal assessment of leadership styles, updates on current 'hot topics,' or skills training.

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