Essays on Employment Relations Essay

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The paper ' Employment Relations' is a good example of a Management Essay. Employment relations have been presented in literature and practice as being characterized by competing schools of thought with reference to ideological positions. Different authors have presented it from different perspectives. These demonstrate how this has evolved over time. These perspectives have an influence on management principles and human resource management strategies. This paper intends to explore the strengths and weaknesses of three key perspectives common in the competition between schools of thought: unitarist, pluralist, and radicalize approaches. They are reference frames, and ideologies packaging the values and inherent assumptions that are entrenched in employment relations parties: employer, employee, state, needs and wants.

They also defined how these parties interact and the degree of their compatibility in human relations. They will be explored with reference to the pluralist neo-institutionalist perspective cited as being a more preferable perspective. Unitarian refers to views of employee relationship as being based on mutualism of interests between employee and organization and that conflict is not inherent, nor is it permanent but is as a result of aberrant behaviors such as poor communication.

It is its view that conflict can be avoided or eliminated and that this is majorly managerial oriented (Martin & Fellenz 2010). Pluralism, a critique of the former, is a view that conflict is inherent in employment relationships and that it shows the multiplicity of conflicts in an imperfect labor market. This multiplicity is exacerbated by the value that labor is not a commodity. The imperfectness is characterized by power diffusion and imbalance amongst the competing interests and aspirations of the parties. As such, the state and trade unions play a very central role in the power bargain.

A focus on the radicalize approach presents one with views that there is an inherent conflict between employers and employees. Based on Marxism this approach assumes a political nature of the conflict by enshrining a duo-class conflict. The capitalists are engaged in bargaining with the employees and then focus on extracting the maximum benefit from the labor potential. In this relationship, the labor market is a power and control instrument that is socially based (George 2011).

As such, it suggests that there could be industrial harmony only if employees are in control of and own production means (Singh & Kumar 2011). This view also shares the view that labor is more than just production factor and therefore the inevitable conflict in the relationship is construed to imply broader social class conflicts. This denotes the political struggle this view presents between the owners of means of production and those who are selling labor. In this relation, the state protects the owners of the means whereas trade unions challenge the national distribution of products as well as a management control in the relationship. Unitarian A unitarist approach refers to a perspective built on the tenets of unitary employment-related policies and practices that tend to unify employers’ and employees’ interests.

The latter and the former are assumed as having similarity or unity of interests. As such, any policy is made as influenced by such a perspective and with a focus on promoting mutual interests (George 2011). This indicates the implication that the employment relationship is founded on the tenets of mutual cooperation and commonness of interests of the involved parties and that conflict is not inherent in the relationship.

It is developed on common-interest aspects and on the nature of conflict cited as not being inherent but as being caused by aberrant behavior. This conflict is temporary. As such, this relationship views trade unions as intruders and third parties, similar to the state. However, this approach provides for the state to participate in the relations by entrenching policies and laws which promote mutualism and cooperative employer-employee relationship (Whalen, 2008). Unitarist ideology forms the frame of reference in the underlying components influencing the development of policies that are mutually beneficial to both labor and organization (Budd & Bhave 2006).

This is the mains stay of its strength given that it focuses on developing harmonious and integrated systems in organizations that are vital in enhanced productivity.


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Budd, J., & Bhave, D. 2006. Values, ideologies and frames of reference in employment relations . In N. Bacon, P. Blyton, J. Fiorito, E. Heery, & (. ), Sage Handbook of employment relations (pp. 1-43). Minneapolis .

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Martin, J., & Fellenz, M. 2010. Organizational behaviour and management (4th Ed). Andover: Cengage Learning .

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Whalen, C. 2008. New directions in the study of work and employment : revitalizing industrial relations as an academic enterprise. Cheltenham: Elgar.

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