The paper 'Is Industrial Conflict in Australia and Elsewhere Potentially Avoidable" is a good example of a management literature review. The relations between employers and workers has for a long time been a topic of extensive research and discussion within the world of business. As expected, the interaction between employees and their employers is not always without disagreements. In fact, according to Roche et. al (2011), conflicts are an unavoidable part of any organization’ s life since the objectives of various stakeholders including managers and employees are normally incompatible. Australia, in particular, has witnessed a number of trade conflicts rather than peaceful industrial relations even since the conclusion of the World War.
The pattern of Australia’ s industrial relations has without a doubt been with not only disruptive and conflictual consequences but also significant work-hour losses occasioned by work stoppages. According to the Institute of Public Affairs (2014), the astonishing rate and the severity of industrial conflicts in Australia ever since the conclusion of the First World War as well as the annoyance and hardships that they have caused have led individuals to ask themselves a number of questions.
Among the many questions, individuals have frequently demanded to know are whether the strikes are actually inevitable and whether indeed it is possible to replace some resemblance of order for the disorder. It is against this backdrop that this particular paper intends to provide an analysis as regards whether the industrial conflict in Australia and elsewhere is potentially avoidable. Moreover, the paper will try to find out whether trade unionism has indeed helped to foment or contain industrial conflict within the industry. Industrial conflict in Australia and elsewhere is potentially avoidable.
According to Heilbronn (2008), research has revealed that through the means of collective bargaining, harmonious labour-management relationships are achievable at the place of work; as a result, disputes emanating from the major causes of conflicts can be avoided as they tend to be injurious/harmful not just to the affected organizations/employers and the workers but also to the society as a whole. Herriot (2013) argues that the major reasons behind industrial disputes can generally be categorized into two groups including the economic and the non-economic causes.
The economic causes include matters relating to allowances, wages, working conditions, working hours, unfair layoffs and retrenchments. The non-economic factors include indiscipline issues, political factors, victimization and ill-treatment of employees, as well as sympathetic strikes. To avoid the injurious consequences occasioned by these factors, Roche et. al (2014) proposes that governments, employees, business organizations, employer of labourers, non-profit organizations as well as all the stakeholders ought to make an effort to adopt collective bargaining, discussions with union officials and negotiation between workers and employers as a means to resolving industrial disputes so as to enhance industrial harmony, improve employee performance, and increase productivity.
According to Katz & Darbishire (2002), recent years have witnessed a strong shift towards a more decentralized collective bargaining, a factor that has facilitated a wide number of changes in terms of payment methods, work organization as well as skill development. In this view of this, one can argue that industrial conflict in Australia and elsewhere is indeed potentially avoidable. Contrary to this opinion, Depaola (2012) argues that industrial conflict in Australia and elsewhere is potentially inevitable. According to Depaola (2012), the pluralist viewpoint regarding industrial relations is that disputes within the workplace are inevitable and the only way to deal with is to know how to manage it.
As such; Depaola (2012) believes that industrial conflicts within the workplace environment are without a doubt inevitable. In fact, according to Depaola (2012), a study of about 150 executives revealed that they spend about 18 percent of their working time mediating conflicts. Other studies also estimate the figure to be as large as 30 percent. This implies that managers spend between 9 and 15 weeks annually handling conflicts within the workplace.
Bredel, R. (2007).The Ethical Economy of Conflict Prevention and Development: Towards A Model for International Organizations.Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Creighton, B & Forsyth, A. (2012).Rediscovering Collective Bargaining: Australia's Fair Work Act in International Perspective.Routledge
Depaola, J. (2012).Workplace Conflict is Inevitable: Managing Outcomes– Constructive vs. Destructive; Costs vs. Benefits; Clash vs. Collaboration, Retrieved on October 15th ,2014 from
Ellem, B, et.al. (2004).Peak Unions in Australia: Origins, Purpose, Power, Agency. Press
Ford, J. (2001).Workplace Conflict: An Inevitable Fact of Life
Herriot, P. (2013).Employment Relationship: A Psychological Perspective.Routledge
Heilbronn, G. (2008).Introducing the Law.CCH Australia Limited
Institute of Public Affairs. (2014). Industrial Disputes - Australia and Overseas.IPA Review Article
Katz, H & Darbishire, O. (2002).Converging Divergences: Worldwide Changes in Employment Systems. Cornell University Press
O'Neill, S. (2012). The gods must be crazy: chronology of and issues in the Qantas industrial dispute 2011, Common Wealth of Australia
Roche, W et.al. (2014).The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management. Oxford University Press
Saharay, H. (2012). Textbook on Labour & Industrial Law. Universal Law Publishing
Wendy, L.et.al. (2006). Events That Shaped Australia. New Holland