Importing low-density ideas to high-density revitalisation: The ‘organising model’ in Denmark

Jens Anrholtz, Christian Lyhne Ibsen, Flemming Ibsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Why did union officials from a high-union-density country like Denmark choose to import an
organising strategy from low-density countries such as the US and the UK? Drawing on in-depth
interviews with key union officials and internal documents, the authors of this article argue
two key points. First, rather than unions settling for a semi-automatic response to membership
decline, the ‘organising model’ was actively imported as a strategic tool for challenging alternative
responses to membership decline. Second, the organising model was actively translated into a
Danish context and most unions cherry-pick some elements while leaving fundamental aspects
out. The study nevertheless indicates that a lack of coherency and model-fit to Danish industrial
relations might hamper the positive effects of the organising strategy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)297-317
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this