International Employment Relations/Human Resources - Essay Example

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Employment relations in India are reflected in the particular institutional, legal, and policy framework, as well as the social partners and the…
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International Employment Relations/Human Resources
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INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS/HUMAN RESOURCES of The history of employment relations in India has been shaped by the economic, cultural, and political in the country over the decades. Employment relations in India are reflected in the particular institutional, legal, and policy framework, as well as the social partners and the government relationship (Bhattacherjee, 2001, p. 246). So, how is the history of employment relations in India? It is important to first point out that employment relations in India trace its history to many decades ago; however, the agrarian age was when some sort of formal employment relations was evident. The concept progressed through the colonization period. Being a British colony, the practices of employment relations in India were based on the concepts that had been developed in the United Kingdom. It should not be lost that that the subsequent employment relations practices in India have borrowed a lot from the United Kingdom’s employment relations practices (Ackers, 2006, p. 4189).
The most important aspect of the history of employment relations in India starts from 1947 following attainment of its independence. The first phase of Indian employment relations was drafted after independence to correspond to the first three Five-Year Plans: 1951-1956, 1956-1961, and 1961-1966. The first phase corresponded to the “national capitalism” period that was characterized with employment-intensive public enterprises formation, and rapid growth in the intermediate and capital goods. During this time, employment relations witnesses new development especially in regard to the rapid registration of trade unions (Sengupta, 2003, p. 691).
The first phase of Indian employment relations paved way for the second phase that corresponded with the 1967-69 Annual Plans, and the two-fold Five-Year Plans: 1969-1974 and 1974-1979. Unlike the first phase which was characterized with rapid economic expansion, this phase witnessed two oil price shocks, as well as overall industrial stagnation in 1973 and 1978 (Badigannavar, 2006, p. 200). These economic structural changes reshaped the employment relations in a significant way particularly in respect to labor markets, collective bargaining practices, and union activity. The changes witnessed during the second phase were a reflection of a subjective crisis of “state pluralism” legitimacy model and the objective economic performance crisis. The former led to divisions in the union movement and employees had alternative voice and a more strengthened bargaining power. The second phase paved way to the third phase which corresponded to the sixth and seventh Five-Year Plans: 1980-1985 and 1985-1990 respectively. This phase of employment relations in India was characterized with public sector strikes like in Bangalore and Bombay (Ackers, 2006, p. 4189). Besides, it was characterized with the proliferation and the rise of “independent” unions that operated in the main industrial centers which were competing with the unions that were initially party-affiliated. The macroeconomic developments that were taking place at the time and the changes that were being witnessed in the union structure affected the employment relations significantly.
The historical development of the Indian employment relations after 1991 were influenced by “global factors”, the IMF-World Bank led economic reform programs dictating much of the developments in the employment relations front (Hill, 2009, p. 405). However, the India’s economic structure that was composed majorly of middle-class and English-speaking graduates brought a new dimension in the country’s employment relations. The economy witnessed a massive Western-style service sector, whose effects were accelerated growth and shifts in the employment relations. Growth in the telecommunications, airline, broadcast media and financial sectors and their impacts on the country has greatly shaped the employment relations and has gradually diminished the importance of union movements as unions are perceived as promoting sectional interests (Badigannavar, 2006, p. 212). It is agreeable that Indian employment relations has evolved over time and has been influenced by trends in the labor market. Employment relations in India has not fully matured, just like in most countries across the world, and it is important that there should be continuous formulation of policies to address employment relations in the face of emerging trends in labor market.
Ackers, P. (2006), ‘Leaving Labour? Some British Impressions of Indian Academic Employment
Relations’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4187–4194.
Badigannavar, V. (2006), ‘Industrial Relations in India’, in M. J.Morley, P.Gunnigle and D.
G. Collings (eds), Global Industrial Relations (London, Routledge) pp. 198–217.
Bhattacherjee, D. (2001), ‘The Evolution of Indian Industrial Relations: A Comparative
Perspective’, Industrial Relations Journal, 32, 3, 244–263.
Hill, E. (2009), ‘The Indian Industrial Relations System: Struggling to Address the Dynamics of a Globalizing Economy’, Journal of Industrial Relations 51, 3, 395–410.
Sengupta, A. K. (2003), ‘Decline of Trade Union Power in India’, The Indian Journal of Labour
Economics 46, 685–702. Read More
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