The paper “ Pluralist, Unitary and Radical Approaches to Employment Relationship in LIPC Integration’ s Design Department” is a convincing example of a case study on human resources. The three main approaches to the study of an employment relationship include pluralist, unitary and radical perspectives (Abott 2006). Each of the three has own ideological viewpoints and analytical framework that generates different interpretations of industrial-relations problems. This paper provides an analysis of the case study of LIPC Integration Plc to explain the commonalities and differences of interests (radical, unitarist and pluralist), recommendations to departments, and lastly methods to provide employees with a voice. Commonalities and differences of interestsAt LIPC Integration’ s Design department, the employees in the department have different interests to that of the management.
They strongly believe that the designs they come up with should be their intellectual property. On the other hand, the management reiterates that as long as design department staff remains its employees, the innovations they create remain its property. Additionally, the employees at the Design department stress the complexity of their work. Therefore, they demand that they should be given better recognition and rewards for their innovativeness.
This signals a pluralist perspective. The pluralist perspective believes that an organization has people with different varieties of interests, goals, and aspirations. Power is also diffused among the different internal bargaining groups in such a way that none dominates the other. Unlike the unitarist approach, which admits only one source of power, the pluralist perspective suggests that different interest groups and varied forms of loyalty and interests exist. Indeed, Abott (2006) comments that, under a pluralist perspective, the management recognizes that different legitimate sources of power exist, which, therefore, focuses on instilling loyalty.
This applies in the case study, as LIPC’ s management issued payment and reward schemes to motivate and promote loyalty and shared interests. At the Fabrication department, the members of staff share the same interests with the management. They welcome the new performance-based pay and reward systems, and share the same goal that will motivate them to work for longer periods, and become more loyal and committed to work. Additionally, the employees in this department have communicated their interest in receiving more training, a stand that the management supports.
This working relationship signifies a unitary theory, which views employee relations to be fundamentally harmonious and marked with the belief that the organization consists of an integrated entity with shared goals and a common purpose (Cullinane & Dundon 2013). Chidi and Okpala (2009) explain that under the unitary theory, employee-employer relationship is rooted in harmony of interests and mutual-cooperation. Hence, there is no fundamental conflict of interest. These scenarios are evident in the Fabrication Department. The staff members cooperate with the management by accepting the new payment and reward system.
On the other hand, the management shows mutual-cooperation by agreeing to initiate training in compliance with the wishes of the staff in the department. Workers at the Assembly plant are in constant conflict with the management. This is unlike at the design department, which accepts to negotiate with the management through the Board. The members of staff have resisted the performance-based rewards. They claim that they have never seen an increase in their pay unlike in the Fabrication Department. Against this background, the employment relationships in the Assembly department signals the radical theory.
The theory perceives employment relations as being in the constant structural conflict between the employees and the employer. Abott (2006) opines that under the radical perspective, the employer predominantly controls the employees who in return feel exploited. At the Assembly department, the management views its position as having the last say and demands loyalty from the members of staff rather than the motivation. Therefore, rather than implementing the staff's idea of motivating them through flexible work hours and frequent breaks to ensure greater productivity, the management disputes the idea.