Using theoretical frameworks like the one proposed by Alan Fox outlined in the lecture given in Week 3, explain to Ms Cutter the different ways in which the employment relationship can be conceptualised.
Employment relationship is an elemental factor in every organizational setting and operating. It affects the manner in which functional operations take place. It is a crucial factor, which has significant effects on the type of relationship existing in the employment setting of all organizations. Following a conversation with the Bytes Electronics’ General Manager, Ms Cutter, it is clear that she in need of advice on how to structure the company’s human resource management in its new operations in Australia. The General Manager needs the advice because she is not aware of the strategic role that human resource management plays within an organization. Moreover, she is to be reminded of the significance of comprehending the kind of the legal framework, which the Bytes Electronics Company has to operate. Understanding of the legal framework will enable the General Manager to understand the effects of that framework on the human resource strategies developed by the organization. As an advising team from a successful Human Resource Consultancy Company, it is our obligation to explain to the General Manager the different ways of conceptualizing employment relationship in the organization. This conceptualization of the employment relationship in the organization forms the basis on which strategic human resource management in the company is upheld. It influences the relationship existing between parties in the organization and their influence towards the human resource management in the organization. These employment relationships also influence the theoretical framework under which the entire organization operates.
Firstly, in categorizing and conceptualizing employment relationships in an organization, there has to be a significant depiction of the employment relationship with satisfaction of extra criteria. These criteria define the manner in which the employment relationships relate with the industrial theory in the industrial society (Wilkinson, Adrian, 2011, p. 18). The first criterion suggests that employment relationship can be conceptualized by readily applying it to the daily activities, operations and functions of the workplace. This criterion tempts at formulating a desirable picture derived from the grand theory and intended for industrial relations. In the classic formulation of John Dunlop, there was a significant depiction of the system of industrial relations through interaction of three key factors: government, management and labor. A certain web of rules and policies that govern the entire system binds these factors together. Therefore, Ms Cutter, with the help of the organization’s board of directors and elemental stakeholders could come up with new policies and rules that govern the organization. These policies should aim at promoting the relationship between the workers, the management and the governing bodies of the organization. By so doing, the entire organizational system is considerably viewed from the top down and is relative to the tripartite perspective of the economic system of the organization, which is derivative from macroeconomics. In the macroeconomic theory, the total economic activity equals the sum of government expenditure, investment and consumption. However, macro theory is not sufficient in predicting the system’s course through time in the absence of a keen comprehension of the dynamics that guide myriads of individual relationships. Some of these relationships include relationships with firms, consumers and workers derived from the existing economics (Sappey & Bamber, 0, p. 27). Others include local community or work groups behavior of people from sociology, individuals’ voting behavior from political science and individual motivations and attitudes from psychology. In the context of Bytes Electronics, the organization’s system of industrial relations is envisioned for the whole organization even in the new operations in Australia. Therefore, for Ms Cutter and the management body of the organization to comprehend the grand tactics and strategies of the elemental factors of employment relationship in the system, they have to start by focusing on the key elements of employment relationship of an individual and then extending the focus to the firm, the government, the work unit and the society.
The second criterion suggests that employment relationship in the organization can be conceptualized by clearly showing the impact of government policies on the organization’s workplace. Typically, the industrial relations theory has been applicable in countries and region with mixed economies. In these regions, despite the market forces being important, the government policies significantly regulate the market. These government policies also govern and shape the strategies that organizations employ in managing their workforce, an outcome that was predicted by Polanyi and evident in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Rainbird, Fuller, & Munro, 2004, p. 18). Therefore, to conceptualize the employment relationship in that organization, there has to be a clear indication of the reason behind the success of applying industrial relations theory in circumstances of control and regulation of the government over the market. Moreover, there has to be a clarification of the ways in which government policies affect the employment relationships of the organization.
The third criterion of conceptualizing employment relationships in the organization is through assessment and involvement of a certain degree of negotiation dynamics in the organization’s functions. From the industrial relations theory, negotiation is a vital element in the process of conceptualizing employment relationships. In order to conceptualize employment relationships through negotiations, there has to be significant incorporation of other social sciences in the process. Some of these social sciences include sociology, psychology, political science and economics (DArt & Turner, 2006, p. 09). The understanding of these social sciences provides an avenue and opportunity to acknowledge elemental factors that influence the whole process of negotiations, but from a wider scope of fields. Moreover, a better understanding of the process of negotiation for individuals like Ms Cutter and groups like the entire organization of the Bytes Electronics enhances their overall comprehension and familiarity of the dynamics of the whole system of industrial relations. Understanding the whole negotiation process and the dynamics of the system of industrial relations enhances the conceptualization of the employment relationship in the organization.
In summary, the three processes and criteria of human resource activities can surface within the organization’s business firm, local labor markets or its vast economic community like the new operations in Australia. Therefore, for the organization to conceptualize its employment relationships even more, it has to involve itself in cross training operations of its employees to ensure development, it has to evaluate jobs and plan human resource operations through allocation programmes, promote performance appraisal to enhance utilization and formulate plans of employee assistance to promote maintenance in the organization (Ackers, 2012, p. 18). The industrial relations’ dynamics revolves around the issue of what or who has to control employment relationship. Moreover, it is around this problem that difficult negotiations tend to occur. Therefore, there has to be ample negotiation procedures to enhance the employment relationship. It is very important for organizations and firms to conceptualize their employment relationship through some of the factors discussed. These conceptualizations of the employment relationships enhance the operational functions of the involved firm or organization.
Ackers, P. (2012). Rethinking the employment relationship: a neo-pluralist critique of British industrial relations orthodoxy. International Journal of Human Resource Management. doi:10.1080/09585192.2012.667429
DArt, D., & Turner, T. (2006). New working arrangements: changing the nature of the employment relationship? International Journal of Human Resource Management. doi: 10.1080/09585190500521656
Rainbird, H., Fuller, A., & Munro, A. (2004). Workplace learning in context. London: Routledge.
Sappey, J., & Bamber, G. J. (0). TOWARDS A TRIPARTITE MODEL OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP: EMPLOYERS, EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS IN MARKETISED VARIETIES OF UNIVERSITITES For submission to the Human Resource theme of the Employment Research Unit Conference "Varieties of Capitalism: Organizational, Management and Human Resource Implications.
Wilkinson, Adrian. (2011). The Future of Employment Relations: New Paradigms, New Developments. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.