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Explain the unitary and pluralistic perspective of employee relations
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Descriptionemployee relations assignment
a) Explain the unitary and pluralistic perspective of employee relations (Pass P1)
The term employee relation is used to indicate those areas of the employment relationship in which managers deal with the representatives of employees rather than managing employees directly as individuals (Edwards, 1995). Some authors feel the terms employee relations and industrial relations are synonymous. However this may not be so to some extent. Employee relations are a broader and more comprehensive term. Industrial relations are essentially concerned with the relationship between management and the worker and the role of regulatory mechanism in resolving and individual dispute. Employee relations takes account of several other aspects such as employee development, employee safety etc. Different people perceive the scenario of industrial relations differently. The two popular approaches to industrial relations are:
According to Burchill in Dzimbiri (2008:02) “Unitary perspective of industrial relations views a work organization as characterized by an integrated and harmonious whole existing for common objectives, values, interests and single centre of loyalty and authority.” It suggests that employees and employers work towards the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives. The assumption is that employees are always loyal and trustworthy to the management in order to ensure that organizational common goals are achieved. Armstrong (2006:758) holds the same view and contends that “unitary perspective extols the virtue of teamwork where everyone strives jointly, to a common objective, everyone pulls their weight to the best of their ability and everyone accepts their place and function gladly, following the leadership of the appointed manager or supervisor.”
Conflict is regarded as bad, destructive and counterproductive in unitary perspective and should not be allowed at all costs. Dzimbiri (2008:02) argues further that “conflict is pathological and caused by agitators and troublemakers, misunderstanding or personality clash.” In this case, the managers use their position power in an autocratic manner to deal with any problems. The working relationship is associated with strict adherence to rules, regulations and procedures. Armstrong (2006:758) points out that “unitary perspective, which is essentially autocratic and authoritarian, has sometimes been expressed in agreements as management right to manage.”
In unitary perspective, trade unions are considered as the hindrance to management and not very useful in the running of the organization. Dzimbiri (2008:02) alludes to this view and contends that “trade unions in unitary perspective are either viewed as obstructive and unnecessary to the proper management of the enterprise, or as instruments of communication with workers for the achievement of unity and control.” Management has control and power over the functioning of the trade unions. The trade union is used as a means of communication with the workforce by the management ...
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