Essays on Key Differences Between Unitarist, Pluralist, and Radical Views of the Employment Relationship Coursework

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The paper "Key Differences Between Unitarist, Pluralist, and Radical Views of the Employment Relationship" is a great example of business coursework. The term ‘ labour relations’ are commonly used in connection with different forms of worker’ s participation and they can also encompass individual employment relations between an employer and a worker. The employment relationship is a critical element in the experience of life in industrialised societies because it involves developing social ties between an individual and an organisation. Moreover, the employment relationship varies considerably among different employers and workers as there are different conceptions on what approach actually contributes to good management and workers well-being.

For this reason, there is a need to analyse different theories and find the key differences between the unitarist, pluralist, and radical view of employment relationships. The following section discusses the difference in the conception of labour, equity, decision-making power, governance and conflict in an employment relationship. The difference in Conceptions of Labour, Equity, and Decision-making Power Unitarian discard the narrow conceptions of labour as product and workers as perfectly rational agents and instead adopt a psychological conception of the human agent.

Thus, equity and voice, predominantly in the form of distributive and procedural justice, are basically seen in terms of individual perceptions of fairness, justice, and contribution in decision-making. The pluralist, however, has an enhanced idea of labour by also considering them as human beings with rights in a democratic society. By itself, equity goes beyond perceptions of individual justice to include minimum standards such a living wages that human beings should be entitled. In addition, the voice goes beyond the narrow task-related contribution to include industrial democracy or the right of human beings to play a role broadly in informed decision-making (Whalen 2008, p. 53).

The radicals, on the other hand, made a distinction between’ labour’ , the activity to do the work, and ‘ labour-power’ , the capacity to do work (Arestis & Sawyer 1994, p. 123). For the radicals, it is the labour-power that is being acquired by the capitalist employer and the quantity of labour performed is basically under capitalist control. The radical version of labour is oppositional and seeking to replace capitalism with worker control (Budd 2006, p. 138). The difference in Governance and Conception of Conflict Within the framework of collective bargaining, a pluralist organisation supports the reality of various groups and coalitions with conflicting concern.

Pluralist believed that group conflicts could give way to teamwork and cooperation when it is regulated through bargaining and negotiations that follow established rules. In other words, the workplace is regarded as a showground for several competing groups (Burawoy 1982, p. 10). This perception disagrees from the unitarist standpoint, a “ management ideology” (Lucas 2004, p. 15) where workplace policies and practices that originate from a nonunionised system.

They assume of the commonality of interest between management and labour and although they do not reject the actuality of labour-management divergence, they believe that conflicts are needless, detrimental, and can be prevented as soon as both parties know that they contribute to common goals (Kaufman & Taras 2000, p. 178; Stellman 1998, p. 21.). In other words, there would be no major problem to appear if every person submits voluntarily to the tenet of the given authority (Pinnington et al. 2007, p. 24). However, if a conflict indeed occurs, it is claimed that it is not because it is intrinsic to the capitalist system or even because groups have a reasonable difference between their goals and welfare but because of inferior communication and lack of understanding to the extent to which their interests are coincident (Leat 2007, p. 17).

According to Edwards (2003), any conflict arising from the unitarist view is the consequence of confusion or misbehaviour which can be viewed as pathological in nature (p. 10).


1. Reference List

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Burawoy M. (1982). Manufacturing consent: changes in the labor process under monopoly capitalism. US: University of Chicago Press

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