Management … has to have considerable power and authority – power and authority grounded in the needs of the enterprise and based on competence. And power, as the drafters of the American Constitution knew, needs to be limited by countervailing power. Modern society, a society of organizations each requiring strong management, needs an organ such as the labor union.
Peter Ferdinand Drucker: The Frontiers of Management (paragraph III.25), 1982
There is a third choice [the others: disappearance, the (failing) attempt to achieve political power]: that the union rethink its function. The union might reinvent itself as the organ of society – and of the employing institution – concerned with human potential and human achievement, and with optimizing the human resource altogether. The union would still have the role as the representative of the employees against management stupidity, management arbitrariness, and management abuse of power. This would not be an adversarial relationship, but would resemble that of the Scandinavian Ombudsman. The union would work with the management on productivity and quality, on keeping the enterprise competitive, and thus maintaining the members’ jobs and their incomes.
Peter Ferdinand Drucker: The New Realities (chapter 13), 1989