Bruce Kaufman provides a detailed exploration of the historical development of the field of industrial relations. He identifies two distinct schools of thought evident since the field's origins in the 1920s, one centered in the study of personnel management and the other in the study of institutional labor economics. The two schools advocate contrasting approaches to the resolution of labor problems. Kaufman traces their development from a golden age in the 1950s through a period of gradual decline that accelerated in the 1980s. He contends that, in the process, the field narrowed from a broad-based consideration of the employment relationship to a more limited focus on collective bargaining.
Shifts in Workplace Voice, Justice, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Workplaces
Author: David Lewin
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Category: Business & Economics
Volume 24 of Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations (AILR) contains eight papers highlighting important aspects of the employment relationship. The papers deal with such themes as shifts in workplace voice, justice, negotiation and conflict resolution in contemporary workplaces.
The need for a skilled, motivated and effective workforce is fundamental to the creation of the built environment across the world. Known in so many places for a tendency to informal and casual working practices, for the sometimes abusive use of migrant labor, for gendered male employment and for a neglect of the essentials of health and safety, the industry, its managers and its workforce face multiple challenges. This book brings an international lens to address those challenges, looking particularly at the diverse ways in which answers have been found to manage safe and productive employment practices and effective employment relations within the framework of client demands for timely and cost-effective project completions. Whilst context, history and contractual frameworks may all militate against a careful attention to human resource issues this makes them even more deserving of attention. Work and Labor Relations in Construction aims to share understanding of best practice in the industries associated with construction and related activities, recognizing that effective work organization and good standards of employee relations will vary from one location to another. It acknowledges the real difficulties encountered by workers in parts of the developing world and the quest for improvement and awareness of some of the worst hazards and current practices. This book is both critical and analytical in approach and seeks to alert readers to the need for change. Aimed at addressing practical issues within the construction industry from a theoretical and empirical standpoint, it will be of value to those interested in the built environment, employment relations and human resource management.
In countries where collective bargaining is conducted mainly at the industry or regional level, there is often a type of workers representation at the company or establishment level other than a labor union. Where this double form of worker representation that is, labor unions and employee representatives exists, the relationship between the two can present a delicate problem in industrial relations. Decentralizing Industrial Relations is an in-depth country-by-country analysis, for nine major industrial nations, of three essential topics in this area: the relationship between labor unions and employee representatives, the shift in collective bargaining from industry or branch towards the company or establishment level, and the role of labor unions or employee representatives in the flexibilization of labor protective regulations. What emerges in the course of the analysis sheds important light on such crucial factors as the following: the political power of labor unions; the extent to which employee representatives can and do protect workers interests; `single-channel (labor unions only) versus `double-channel systems; invasion of the `turf of labor unions by employee representation systems; and inclusion of disadvantageous working conditions in collective agreements or workplace agreements. In the aggregate, the study finds that, although employers are nowhere completely free to modify working conditions unilaterally, in all countries they can, abetted by the decline of labor unions and an emphasis on `flexibilization, make working conditions increasingly dependent on the individual employment contract. In this global context, the supremacy of labor unions is being questioned. This issue is undoubtedly one that deeply concerns all professionals interested in labor, employment, and industrial relations. This volume in Kluwers Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations series reprints papers submitted to the 8th Comparative Labor Law Seminar (JILPT Tokyo Seminar) held on 21 February, 2006.