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Management Approach to Trade Unions - Essay Example

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Management approach to trade unions differs across countries, and several factors are considered in this difference. Organizational culture is one factor that contributes so much to the difference in these approaches, indicating the expansive role of culture in organizational dimension…
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Management Approach to Trade Unions
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Download file to see previous pages The reverse of this, is what certainly applies to trade unions without a stronghold of labour law or with a lack of support by such law. Distinguishing between two different models of corporate governance is now commonplace in terms of understanding management approaches to trade unions. One is the shareholder, in which the primary goal is maximization of shareholder value and only shareholders are privileged to have a strong formalized links with top management. Another is the stakeholder model in which a variety of firm constituencies (employees, suppliers, and customers) has interests that are balanced against each other in decision-making and enjoy 'voice.'1 How trade unions are viewed by management also varies according to country, alongside the extent of their influence on the organization and its decision-making and policies.
With all these contentions, this paper aims to ascertain in which ways and why management approach to trade unions differ across counties, which purports to be answered with reference to two countries, particularly the United States and the Philippines.
Trade unions are the principal institutions of workers in modern capitalist societies, and are referred to as collective organizations of workers with diverse interests.2 Since the days of Adam Smith, economists and other social scientists, labour unionists, and business owners have been debating the social effects of trade unionism. Many economists view it as a monopoly in the labour market whose primary impact is the increase of wages of members at the expense of the non-members and the effective management of the organization. There were frequent complaints from managers about inflexible operations and work disruptions of firms due to unions, and some social critics have painted trade unionism as socially unresponsive, elitist, and crime-riddled institutions,3 which must not be held on to by desperate workers.

The other side of the contention holds that unions bear beneficial economic and political effects, stressing the significant ways in which collective bargaining agreements can pursue improved productivity and better management. Trade unionists note that unionism has the capacity to increase the retention and development of skills of the workers, improve morale, provide information on the goings-on in the shop floor, and pressure management for better efficiency in its operations.4 Besides increasing wages, trade unions provide workers with protection against unfair working conditions and arbitrary management decisions at the expense of the workers. Consequently, the presence of trade unionism in organizations gives a louder voice to the workers and enables them to pursue their demands on the management with a unified and louder voice.

However, the negative view of trade unions has increased dominantly during the past thirty years.5 Several right and left advocates, while notable exceptions are considered, doubt the value and social relevance of America's organized labour movement.6 Economists have been indulged in quantifying the economic effects of collective bargaining, focusing almost exclusively on the monopoly wage impact of unions.7

Management Approach to Trade Unions in the United States
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