The "new institutionalism" in labor studies highlights the influence of unions, political parties, and states on workers' collective identities and mobilization. This article recommends extending the new institutionalism to include the organization of workplace governance. A theoretical discussion shows how institutions of employee representation can influence the leadership, solidarities, and scale of labor protest. An empirical illustration connects variations in workplace governance to differences in the occupational range and geographic scale of strikes. The analysis targets industries and regions of the U.S. metal trades during WWI, thus ruling out unions and political institutions as rival explanations for patterns of labor mobilization.

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