Managing Employee Relations - Essay Example

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Employee relations have long occupied a place of central importance in both political and economic discourse. Political economists, from Marx to De Sotto, have interpreted employee relations as the primary determinant of an organisation's performance and, indeed, the overall performance of national economies…
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Download file to see previous pages Within the practice and study of business and management, Human Resource Management has emerged as the arena for discourse on employee relations and optimal human resource management trends and paradigms. As with any other discipline and field of practice, it has undergone several changes over the past decades and is engaged in a multitude of debates. These changes have been imposed upon it by shifting ideologies, on the one hand, and by the mercurial nature of the international political economy, hence, global business, on the other. The debates have been instigated by these same forces, amongst others. Among the more important of these debates is that which pertains to the relevancy of the pluralist ER ideology within the context of a globalised business environment. Through an exploration of the ways and means by which globalisation has impacted employer-employee/employee-organisation relations and a critical analysis of the more dominant of the ER theoretical frameworks, this research will argue in favour of the argument which disputes the relevancy of pluralism to current business realities. In other words, the research will provide evidentiary support for the assertion that the pluralist ideology is troublesome, archaic and serves no purpose in today's global economy.
2 Globalisation
Globalisation has impacted firms on two levels. In the first place, it has internationalised the domestic consumer and labour markets. According to Tayeb (2000) this means that firms' internal and external environments have globalised whereby, not only do firms serve an international customer base and have to contend with international competition but their workforce is increasingly diverse and multicultural. In the second place, globalisation has impacted firms in that it has forced many to internationalise. Again, as Tayeb (2000) explains, globalisation has prompted numerous firms to engage in foreign direct investment and to adopt a multinational corporate structure. The implication, thus, is that globalisation has influenced a change in both the structure of corporations and in the way they approach their consumers and marketplace. Needless to say, the mentioned has necessitated a reworking, or reconsideration, of dominant ER paradigms. These changes are perceptible on both the domestic and international levels.
2.1 Domestic Employee-Employer Relationships
So as not to digress from the principle topic, the changes which globalisation has induced upon domestic employee-employer relationships will be summarised through a brief reference to diversity. As Dreachslin (2007) explains, changing demographic realities, compounded with globalisation, have forced UK firms to hire an increasingly multicultural and diverse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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