introduction to industrial relations

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Introduction to Industrial Relations


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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Multidisciplinary field

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Many also equate IR to labour relations and believe that IR only studies unionized(forming a group) employment situations, but this Is an oversimplification(more simpler) Human relations refers to the whole field of relationship that exists bcoz of the necessary collaboration of men and women in the employment process of modern industry. It is that part of mgt which is concerned with the management of enterprise –whether machine operator, skilled worker or manager. It deals with either the relationship btwn the state and employers & workers organisation or the relation between the occupational organisation themselves. Employment relations Importance of non-industrial employment relationships

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IR 1. part of the social sciences 1. IR seeks to design 1. IR contains strong policies and institutions to normative principles help the employment relationship about workers & work better employment relationship, 2.Understand employment relationship & especially the rejection its institutions through high-quality, rigorous of treating the labour research as a commodity in favor of seeing workers as 3.IR scholarship intersects with scholarship human beings in in labor economics, industrial sociology, democratic communities labor & social history ,HRM, political science, entitled to human rights law, & other areas Science building Problem Solving Ethical


HISTORY Roots Industrial Revolution created the modern employment relationship producing free labor markets & large-scale industrial organizations with thousands of wage workers massive economic and social changes Labour problems Low wages, long working hours, monotonous and dangerous work, and abusive supervisory practices high employee turnover, violent strikes, and the threat of social instability

HISTORY – Intellectual & Institutional:

HISTORY – Intellectual & Institutional Industrial relations - end of the 19th century - as a middle ground btwn classical economics & Marxism, with Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb’s Industrial Democracy (1897) being the key intellectual work. IR thus rejected the classical econ John R. Commons academic industrial relations program University of Wisconsin in 1920

HISTORY – Financial Support:

HISTORY – Financial Support (Financial support) John D. Rockefeller, Jr progressive labor-management relations aftermath of the bloody strike at a Rockefeller-owned coal mine in Colorado

HISTORY – Chairs:

HISTORY – Chairs Montague Burton (Britain) another progressive industrialist endowed chairs in industrial relations @ Leeds, Cardiff & Cambridge in 1930 Allan Flanders & Hugh Clegg formation of the Oxford School Formalized in 1950

HISTORY – Cont..:

HISTORY – Cont.. Formed with a strong problem-solving orientation that rejected both the classical economists’ laissez faire(Noninterference in the affairs of others) solutions to labor problems & the Marxist solution of class revolution. It is this approach that underlies the New Deal legislation in the United States, such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act .

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Workplace Relations - the relationship btwn an employer & its employees that governs the employment & non-employment elements such as terms of employment, working condition, welfare, rights and obligation to each other, and so on. Purpose - unite the group of employees and employer as one big, happy family . Principle - behind the IR is the collective bargaining between the employee’s union and the employer to achieve a collective agreement

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IR is not the same as the Employment Act in the sense that the interaction process btwn an employer & the employees is not much bound to legal & technical aspect of an employment, but rather to achieve a compromise agreements and stands. IR executives & managers act as the middlemen btwn the union & the employers, and in an ideal world, they strike a balance between the two. Sometimes, the union fights hard and in response the employer would take a tough stance. As a result, negotiation stalls and the outcome can be potentially unhealthy. It’s true they say strong worker’s union can make the employer’s life miserable and cripple the company’s operation.

Employee Relations:

Employee Relations Involves the body of work concerned with maintaining employer-employee relationships that contribute to satisfactory productivity, motivation, and morale. Employee Relations is concerned with preventing & resolving problems involving individuals which arise out of or affect work situations. Relationship of employees with the organization and with each other

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Advice to supervisors correct poor performance & employee misconduct progressive discipline and regulatory requirements disciplinary actions and in resolving employee grievances and appeals

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Information to employees promote a better understanding of management's goals & policies to employees to assist them in correcting poor performance, on or off duty misconduct, and/or to address personal issues that affect them in the workplace. applicable regulations, legislation, and bargaining agreements about their grievance and appeal rights and discrimination and whistleblower protections Advise to employees

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Developing,implementing,administering & analyzing the employer-employee relationship ; performing ongoing evaluation of it; managing employee performance; ensuring that relations with employees comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations; resolving workplace disputes

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Include HR careers, communications, legal and regulatory issues, technology, metrics and outsourcing in the employee relations field, as well as effective employee relations practices and global employee relations issues Does not include matters involving union organizing, union elections, collective bargaining and ongoing union-management relations, which are encompassed in the Labor Relations Discipline.

Theories of IR:

Theories of IR System Theory Oxford Theory Structural Contradiction Theory Gandhian Theory Human Relations Theory

System Theory (by John Dunlop):

System Theory (by John Dunlop) Focuses on Participants in the process Environmental forces Output And their inter-relationship. 13/20

System Theory (contd.):

System Theory (contd.) Market or Budgetary Restraints Technology Distribution of Power in Society Union – Management Government Rules of the Workplace Environmental Forces Participants Outputs 15/20

System Theory : Participants:

System Theory : Participants The main participants are Workers and their organisations Management and their representatives Government agencies 16/20

System Theory :Environment:

System Theory :Environment Three types of environments Technological characteristics of workplace (Technological sub-system) The market or economic constraints (Economic sub-system) The ‘locus’ and ‘balance of power’ existing in society (Political sub-system) 17/20

System Theory : Output:

System Theory : Output Output is the result of interaction of the parties/actors of the system which is manifested in the network of rules, country’s labour policy and labour agreements etc. that facilitate a fair deal to workers. 18/20

System Theory (contd.):

System Theory (contd.) (Set of Ideas and Beliefs) 14/20

The Oxford Theory:

The Oxford Theory Flanders – Conflict is inherent – Collective bargaining required – CB central to IR system – determined thro’ rule making process of CB r = f (b) or r = f (c) where r – rules governing IR b – collective bargaining c – Conflict resolved thro’ CB Criticism – too narrow (comprehensive for analysing IR) – overemphasis political process of CB – insufficient wt deeper influence in determination of rules

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Emphasis rules, job regulation, institutions of job regulation as indicative of order orientation organisation Liberal-pluralist approach


STRUCTURAL CONTRADICTION THEORY - Hyman(1971) Marxian analysis of IR + Trade union = Pessimistic & Optimistic approach Both represent structural contradictions Pessimistic approach – Lenin, Michels, Trotsky – limitations of trade union consciousness – Working class + intellectuals = New social order

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Optimistic approach – Marx & Engels – role of working class not only maintenance & enhancement of wage level but also carry class struggle against capital class thrust creating classless society Trade unions – represent workers response to the deprivations inherent in their role as employees within a capitalist economy – opposition & conflict can’t be divorced from their existence & activity


Cont.. Inherent deprivation cause conflict of trade unions with employers in politico-economic structure Analysis – focus on not only structure but also deprivations & socio-economic inequalities (inherent components of capitalist mode of production)

Gandhian Approach:

Gandhian Approach Truth, Non-violence, Non-possession, Non co-operation (Satyagarah), trusteeship... Workers’ right to strike. Concept of equality

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There is no room for conflict of interests between the capitalist and the labourers. But what IF conflicts occur...? Should they go for strikes/lockouts...!

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Two things that Gandhiji expect from workers Awakening Nurturing faith in their moral strength Awareness of its existence Unity

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Gandhiji advocates Demands should be reasonable and through collective action. Avoid strikes as far as possible. Avoid formation of unions in philanthropic organisations. Strikes should be the last resort only. In case of organising a strike, workers should remain peaceful and non-violent.

Human Relations Theory – KEITH DEVIS:

Human Relations Theory – KEITH DEVIS Human are not inanimate or passive . Human are very complex to understand i.e. to manage. Integration of people into work-situation that motivates them to work together productively, cooperatively, &with economic, psychological & social satisfactions

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Goals to get people to produce To cooperate through mutuality of interest To gain satisfaction from their relationships Highlights – policies & techniques – improve employee morale, efficiency & job satisfaction Encourages small work group to exercise considerable control over its environment & in the process helps to remove a major irritant in labour-management relation.

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What Influences Human To Work Style of leadership Autocratic style Democratic style Motivation (satisfy the dissatisfied needs) Physiological needs (food, water, clothing, shelter) Safety needs (physical, finance and job security) Social needs (belonging, affection) Egoistic needs (self-esteem and esteem from others)

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