The paper "Power in Trade Union and Managerial Roles in Industrial Relations" is a great example of management coursework. Power is one of the major factors that influence the management of both organizations and trade unions. Industrial relation is a term that refers to the interactions and relationships that exists within the labor market between employers and their employees and the government involvement in these relations (Briggs and Buchanan, 2005). It dates back to the industrial revolution when for the first time industries were created to manufacture various goods and therefore needed a lot of workers to meet the labor demands.
These workers usually worked under poor environmental conditions, were offered low wages, worked long hours, and performed the same task leading to monotonous work (Norris, 1980). These bad work conditions resulted in high employee turnover and numerous strikes by the workers that destabilized production. These problems led to the development of industrial relations as a way of encouraging better labour-management relationships between employers and employees. As such, industrial relations also known as employment relations has two major parts; managerial relations and market relations. Market relations are concerned with such issues as pay, hours of work, benefits, leave, and pensions that are entitled to the employee.
Managerial relations determine what and how market relations are carried out within the industry (Cooper and Ellem, 2006). It can, therefore, be stated that employment relations are concerned with a study of the regulations governing employment. Of great importance in these relations are the trade unions and the government that mediate how the market relations and managerial relations are carried out. A trade union usually represents the needs of a group of workers to a single employer.
The unions usually engage in such activities as collective bargaining on behalf of the employees and legislation formation (Macdonald, Campbell and Burgess, 2001). The government influences industrial relations through the various laws and regulations that it enacts that regulates such issues as minimum wages, number of working hours, and working conditions. Power has been described as the capability to follow one’ s own interests. It involves the ability to pursue one’ s objectives, known as proactive power, and the ability to be against the actions of others, known as reactive power (Lewis, 2005).
As such, power is usually involved in the normal development and continuance of relationships and therefore plays a major role in employment relations. Power is dependent on the availability of resources and therefore it can change over time since these resources are not permanent things but are rather developed as the result of use. In addition, power emanates from routines, overt actions and assumptions hence it is ever-changing and uncertain. Power is usually exercised through the formation of various rules aimed at regulating certain aspects of day to day activities.
Power is an essential ingredient in the management of organizations and in the running of trade unions (Lewis, 2005). It provides them with a means of gaining a substantial advantage in achieving their objectives through opposing the actions carried out by others within the industrial relations field as well as pursue their own objectives.