Employee Relations in Contemporary Organisations - Essay Example

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The purpose of the paper “Employee Relations in Contemporary Organisations” is to analyze employee relations, which refer to the mechanism through which matters between employees and their employers are resolved to prevent liabilities for the organization…
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Employee Relations in Contemporary Organisations
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Download file to see previous pages The main impetus for employee relations is the need for participation in management and the encouragement of participation as a result of democracy (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004 p276). They state that “participation is by definition a higher-trust and positive-sum activity where the emphasis is placed on the shared resolution of issues to the mutual benefit and gain of those involved” (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004 p276). This implies that participation is an appropriate means through which both employers and employees can resolve their differences. However, the idea of participation led to the creation of trade unions and the incorporation of trade unionist policies in workplaces (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). Also, the inclusion of European social policies encouraged bargaining and collective participation. Evolution from the Old Unionism Boxall and Purcell (2003) identify that the old industrial relations of the early 20th century was about control and stability and gaining agreements to keep the production system going and avoiding disruptive conflicts. These arrangements were not legally enforceable. However, the post-war era ushered in a new period where participation of employees in organizations was done through unions. These unions were representatives of employees through collective bargaining arrangements. Collective bargaining is defined as “a process through which representation of employers and employee organizations act as joint creators of substantive and procedural rules regulating employment” (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004 p226). In other words, these were situations where important and relevant issues between employers and employees were discussed. The most common 'substantive' issue is the demand for fairer wages. Also, it involved the utilization of a clearly laid down procedure or system whereby employees could assert their demands based on the market value of their collective supply of labor. Most businesses after 1950 had unions. The only exceptions were traditionalist organizations that hated unionism and sophisticated paternalists who had management policies which substituted for the unions' presence (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004 p303). However, towards the 21st century, employee relations evolved after the old system of tripartite negotiations collapsed. In the 1980s, trade unionism and collective bargaining fell because of three main things: 1. There was a reduction the proportion of employees covered by collective bargaining arrangements. 2. There was a growing tendency for those arrangements to be local rather than national and 3. The narrowing of the scope of collective bargaining. In 1984, 70% of employees were members of collective bargaining groups. However, in the 1980s, the structures of the trade unions were exposed because they were not capable of dealing with the economic restructuring (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004). In 1990, only 52% of workers were members of collective bargaining groups. By 1998, this figure had fallen to 40%. Today, the main framework of employee relations include three main elements; science building, problem-solving, ethical systems(Kaufman, 2004 p42). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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