Essays on Understanding Industrial Relations Essay

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The paper 'Understanding Industrial Relations' is a great example of a Business Essay. Industrial relations is the study of the relationship that exists between the employers and the employees. It is also called an employment relationship. It is aimed at solving problems in the workplace, enhancing the code of ethics and science building (Peetz, 2006). In science building, it seeks to understand how the employees and employers relate to the workplace. That is the management of human resources, the laws regulating employment and payment of wages and salaries (Waring, 1999). It also seeks to ensure that policies and institutions are designed to ensure peaceful coexistence at the workplace either between the employees or between the employer and the employees (Budd, 2004).

It contains ethical codes that help foster good relationships so that there are ethical practices and relationships based on the existing laws. These ethical issues include fair remuneration and treatment, nondiscrimination, normal working hours, and the right to expression and association (Bray, Waring & Cooper, 2011). How can one, therefore, determine whether a country has sound industrial relations or not? There are some elements that if present would support this fact.

It should be one in which there is a clear cut distinction between the state, the employees, and the employer. But these three entities should be able to exist in harmony and cooperate with one another (Waring, 1999). Hence conflict is avoided to help create an enabling environment that is necessary for achieving efficiency in production. In addition, the workers feel motivated through which the employer gains their trust and loyalty. Thus creating mutual understanding based on well-established laws and respect for each of the parties (Kaufman, 2004). There are three levels at which industrial relations operate.

The presence of these three levels in a country comprises a sound system in its industrial relations. These levels are at the national level, industrial level, and the firm’ s level. Effectiveness at one level affects other levels too and vice versa (Waring, 1999). At the industry level, it brings about collective bargaining and a set of rules that govern the industry. Wages and salaries too are determined at this level. At the lowest level trade unions represent the views of the employees.

The effectiveness of the unions enhances trust and confidence-building between the employees and their employers. At the top level, the national level, it useful in creating confidence and trust (Bray et al. , 2011). There must be policies established to regulate labor-management and relations. These policies should ensure job security and encourage the creation of more employment opportunities. Employment opportunities should be accompanied by better working conditions and improved terms (Mullins, 2005). Consequently, employees will realize improved living standards. The policies should also enable the firms to be more productive to gain economies of scale and competitive advantage in the industry (Peetz, 2006).

More so the policies are also useful in helping minimize conflicts and thus encouraging peaceful and harmonious coexistence at the workplace. In addition, when conflicts arise by whatsoever means, the policies will help solve them in an amicable way. Another very important element of industrial relations is the favorable industrial relations climate. The employees, workers, the general public, government, and other stakeholders should coexist in harmony. Harmony among these parties is useful in promoting efficiency, quality, and productivity.

Hence the firms are able to increase their sales volume and profitability which is for the common benefit of all. Therefore industrial relations that seek to secure necessary cooperation for increasing productivity is a sound one (Bray et al. , 2011).



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Bray, M., Waring, P. & Cooper, R., (2011). Employment Relations: Theory and Practice, 2nd Ed. Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Budd, J.W., (2004). Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity, and Voice. Cornell University Press.

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Mullins, L., (2005). Management and Organisational Behaviour. FT Prentice Hall.

Nichols, T., (1997). The Sociology of Industrial Injury.. London: Mansell Publishing Limited

Peetz, D. (2006) Brave New Workplace. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin

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Waring, P. (1999) ‘The rise of individualism in Australian industrial relations’ New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 24(3), 291-318


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