The Strategic Corporate Research web site is a project of Tom Juravich, Professor of Labor Studies and Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduate students in the UMass Amherst Labor Center.
This approach to conducting corporate research was more twenty years in the making and weaves together a number of different threads. In the mid-1990s, I began consulting with unions on corporate research. I brought back what I was learning to students in the Master’s program in the UMass Labor Center where I developed the original 24 question model. J. Michael Davis, Labor Studies Librarian at the UMass Amherst Libraries and Fred Zinn at the UMass Office of Information Technology were instrumental in developing this initial thinking.
I was also involved in researching and writing about the innovative strategic campaign by the Steelworkers at Ravenswood (Juravich, Tom and Kate Bronfenbrenner. Ravenswood: The Steelworkers Victory and the Revival of American Labor. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999.) This detailed research on a successful campaign further expanded my understanding and conceptual framework around strategic corporate research and campaigns.
Later, I became one of the core instructors in the launching of the AFL-CIO/ Cornell University research summer school and taught in the program through 2012. Other aspects of the model developed during the summer school. Along with Kate Bronfenbrenner and Keith Mestrich, I developed a compilation of websites (Juravich, Bronfenbrenner and Mestrich, Basic Corporate Research: Key Questions and Data Sources) which has gone through a number of revisions and updates both at Cornell and UMass. I learned a great deal from the collaboration with Kate, Keith and, later from Robert Masciola,Glenn Perusek, Julie Farb and Charles Talyor. .
I had the opportunity to work with the T.U.C. in the U.K., the Organizing Center in Australia, and in my ongoing work at the UMass Labor Center, and the Labour College of Canada where I continue to add to and refine the approach. My Beating Global Capital: a Framework and Method for Union Strategic Corporate Research and Campaigns (in Kate Bronfenbrenner (ed.) Global Unions. Ithaca University Press, 2007) provides the best overall summary of the model.
Realizing that only a limited number of activists can enroll in the programs we offer, graduate students and I at the UMass Labor Center began work on this site in 2010. Brad Murray and Steve Davis were involved in the early conceptions and Andy Goulet worked to get the first prototype up and running. Olivia Geho is currently staffing the project. Chris Lawson from Jungle Internet is the webmaster and has been tireless in his efforts at designing such a wonderful website and keeping it up and running. Art Torres designed the logo and the beautiful posters that have become such an important part of the program.
I am grateful to all the students who have participated in the classes I have taught on strategic corporate research who in so many ways are co-creators of this web site. I would also like to thank my colleagues in the UMass Labor Center, UMass Sociology Department and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University for their continued support.
It is also important to acknowledge both unions and individuals who pioneered strategic corporate research and campaigns that have directly and indirectly contributed to this work: Jeff Fiedler and Gene Bruskin, Food & Allied Service Trades (FAST) AFL-CIO; Ray Rogers, Corporate Campaigns Inc.; United Steelworkers; United Mine Workers; Marshall Ganz, UFW/Harvard; David Chou, Keith Mestrich and Glen Perusek, Center for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO; Joe Uehlein, Industrial Union Department, AFL-CIO; Andy Banks, Teamsters; Richard Yeselson, Change to Win; Joe Drexler, PACE/USW; Phil Mattera, Corporate Research Project; John Russo, Youngtown State; Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University; and Bob Ginsberg, Center of Work and Community Development.