Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice

Good for beginners,students,professionals,general public,contains management definitions,introduction,and process.includes organizational behavior,leadership,motivation,group dynamics,communication,stress management,interpersonal relations,personality development.HRM Planning,Recruitment,selection,job analysis,job enrichment,induction,performance management,training & development,training need analysis,industrial relations,health and safety,welfare and benefit,HR reports,conflict management

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Labor relations

Labor relation can define as “the relationship between labor or employee and the employer” (as Cambridge Dictionary). Labor relations is combined with the unionize employment situations. Labor relations is expecting to study about relationship of labors in unionize culture. Labor relation is a subject of industrial relations, and social, political and economic parameters are influencing to the labor relations too. Under labor relations, it is need to cover labor law, history, union organization, bargaining, contract of employment etc. Both public and private sector should be aware about the labor relations to continue and follow harmonious working conditions. To enhance harmonious labor relations, governments are involving to create acts, rules and regulations and the institutes such as labor tribunals all around the world. In USA, National Labor Relations Act (in 1935) was established & empowered to regulate labor relations in private sector, and public sector labor relations is regulated by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. Civil Service Reform Act established the many of related bodies to function the act and its rules. Also Civil Service Reform Act was abolished some of institutions/bodies or modified them. Many countries all over the world have their own labor relations strategies– labor laws and traditions to regulate their labor relations according to the law that they are following (ex: Roman-Dutch Law). Rules of the different countries may be differing on one to another, but the core of rules or the frame is similar to each other, such as eliminating child labor, provide safe working conditions etc. (There are several organizations working under the labor laws/ labor act and that is an equal situation could be observed in other countries too). Labor acts are empowering labor tribunals and it helps to protect rights of the labors. Labor relation acts are always established to protect labors and it is also expecting to provide equal rights to both employer and employee.  

International Labor Organization (ILO) was pronounced standards for maintain good labor relations and conditions. Members of United Nations are to be expected to follow the standards of ILO.
Labor relations
Many of labor relation acts are accepting the unionization in work places, collective bargaining and collective agreement. Collective bargaining and collective agreement processes are helping to organizations to maintain good labor relations with its employees.

Maintain harmonious labor relations are important to run a company/organization because of, production of service or a good is depend on human resources out of other resources such as financial, technological and natural resources. Apart from other resources, the only living resource is human resource. Employers must pay attention on the subjects such as leave procedures, health and safety, compensation, job security etc.; to maintain good labor relations as well as all above subjects.
Good relationship with labor helps to maintain loyalty, effective and efficient, and productive works from the workers as expecting by employers.  

By many of labor relation acts, employees are permitted to call meetings to unionize, join with trade unions or labor unions as they like, receive fair compensation and working conditions, receive protection in jobs etc. Some organizations are not following guidelines of labor acts regulated them some times, and any occasion that government or relevant agency found that they are guilty for the behavior, will be punished or amerce or executed by the law.


Monday, October 29, 2012

What is Industrial Relations? (Part III) Definition of employment relationship and Industrial Relations

    Employment Relationship is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as "Behaviour and communication between an employee and their employer, especially relating to employees' rights and their happiness in their jobs. The program is aimed at providing managers with the knowledge and skills they need to maintain good employment relations." And "employee relationship is a A broad term used to refer to the general management, organizations' administration and planning of activities related to developing, maintaining and improving employee relationships by communicating with employees, processing grievances/disputes, training and development of HR etc. (Human Resource IQ -www.humanresourceiq.com )". Industrial relations start with the employment relationship. This starts as soon as a person is willing to accept compensation for in exchange for work which is defined as contract employment. This relationship has a legal dimension that is governed by Labor Legislation. For examples management has to pay wages and salaries, provide leaves, safe working conditions and other duties defined by the law. Not to unjustly discriminate workers. It is not only the law, but also the fairness. The legal nature of the employment relationship means there are rights and obligations on both sides. Employees are obligated to obey legitimate work related instructions, to be honest and to promote the business of the employer with regards to the Job description and the title. The employment relationship is embodied in the contract of employment, and is an individual relationship between employer and employee. It has a legal protection rather than a job and a document of contact of employment. Industrial relations begin with the employment relationship but moves beyond the employment relationship. Without the employment relationship there will be no industrial relations.

    Industrial relations usually involve and consider employees as a group and employers as a group. The decisions taken by employers and managers are affecting on industrial relations; e.g.: Opening or closing down of a workplace, introducing new technology or work organization, allocating a specific distribution of profits are some of them. Decisions taken by employees are also affecting  the industrial relations such as strikes, immediate leave without following proper way, and not doing the job in working time.

What is Industrial Relation?

    There are several definitions for industrial relation from the past. Definitions are not clear at all, so there are many disagreements on selecting one general definition. Many specialists defined the term of Industrial Relation and some accepted definitions are mentioned below.

    Professor Barnash (1954) defined IR as “Area of study and practice concerned with the administration of the employment function in modern public and private enterprise. This function involves workers, unions, managers, government and various publics”.

    In this definition, it considered workers, unions, managers, government, and “various public” as a single function (but present days they are considering as different functions). Still there is administration rather than management of people involving, and considering it as a separate function apart from above function of ‘employment’ mentioned in the definition. This is correct, but sometimes this single function is acting as a separate bunch of functions, working separately to get in to one core of a goal or achieve one main objective.

    Professor Margerison (1969) defined it as “The study of people in a situation, organization or system interacting in the doing of work in relation to some form of contract, written or unwritten… the essential element in all industrial relations is conflict…. The nature and development conflict itself.”
    Written or unwritten contracts and ‘situations’ are the major parts of this definition. For the first time there was concern about the situations and unwritten contracts. It opened a new door to the industrial relations. In this study, it was accepted the conflicts are occurring due to many reasons when practicing industrial relations. It became to a true in present situations.

Hyman (1975) has defined IR as “Industrial Relation is the study of process of control over work relations”. Industrial relation also is a process of understand the relationship between employer and employee as well as other functions influence to them.

    Flanders (1975) defined IR as “The relations between the enterprise and its employees and among those employees themselves… the study of industrial relations may therefore be described as a study of the institutions of job regulation”. As per this definition it was taken all the functions of employer, management etc., as an enterprise. It was good to consider the relationships of the employees among them self, because it also affecting to the general behavior of relationship in the industry.

    Deery and Plowman described IR in 1985 as “….in its broadest sense industrial relations is about the behavior and interaction of people at work. It is concerned with how individuals, groups, organizations and institutions make decisions which shape the employment relationship between management and labor”

    In here they gave a broad sense to the industrial relations, and it depends on the behaviors, past experiences, approaches and the way dealing with the functions which involved in the industrial relations. Labor is considered same as worker, but has more legally protected background, acceptance and reputation than worker.

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What is Industrial Relations (Part II) - Evolution of Labor Relations and Industrial Relations

    Knowing of evolution of labor relations and industrial relations, are important to understand what is the industrial relations and how it has been practiced in the past. Industrial revolution changed the nature of work, forms of work organization and nature of production was bringing together many craftsmen under one roof. This is referred to as the stage of cooperation the craftsman. For various reasons, they were deprived of their tools and brought together by the factory owner under one roof and introduced new tools and techniques to them.

    The next stage was the stage of manufacture. Although there were small manufacturers creating small things, mankind went to build large things like machineries in large scales. Businessmen, investors and inventors as well as who was willing to spend their money saved from generations, established factories to manufacture many things. This is when work tasks are broken down or fragmentized and division of labor is introduced. The factory owners attempt to increase productivity by removing some of the skills or the craft work by breaking down work in to simpler steps. The craftsman is still in charge of the work and has skill but his skill is being eroded and simplified. The artisan is now being transformed in to a worked and this changes the social relation between the factory owner and the worker. Some factory owners used their skilled workers to train and establish new things in the factories, and others who were really not trained well were appointed to simple steps. 

    Two processes began to take place at this stage are, the first is de-qualification where the skills of the artisan are broken down. This takes away control of the work from the worker, and allowed the owner to establish whatever he needs. The second is hyper-qualification of a few individuals who in turn are in charge of systematically fragmenting the work of the masses, as mentioned in above paragraph. This makes authorized leaders among the workers. The way this happened is not more different from  the master and servant modal. The only difference is worker allowed leaving factory any time and he should agree to what he gets from the factory owner as salary. Salary was defined by owner and working conditions were also decided by him. Efficiency and the quality was the concerned of factory owners. 
The process mentioned in above paragraph was also involved in adapting the tools of the trade to a narrow focus so as to increase efficiency. Individual workers and owners thought about the tools that makes the process easy. Craft workers and their apprentice were placed under a single roof which was the formation of the factory. Skilled work was slowly broken down allowing mass production, then large factories established such as Ford Motor Company. Thousands of people moved from villages and rural areas to the cities in search of employment. People uprooted from their traditional way of life and traditional forms of work. Creation of new class or people: proletariat or working class. Society becomes divided between the working class on the one hand and owners and managers on the other hand. Human beings now have to sell their labor power in order to survive. This marked the beginning of the era of mass employment and soon, mass unemployment. Mass unemployment - This happened because some economies collapsed in some of regions. (Less productivity of agricultural products may be the reason for that.) In the area of work we find emergence of new patterns in work organizations.

    Emergence of the assembly line and dull repetitive work-1914 Henry Ford introduced the assembly line (via conveyer belts) Ford fixed the worker at one place and made the object of work or product to flow. This created more control over the labor, and also allowed control over the rate of production. (This made workers unhappy at the beginning but soon after the production increased, Henry Ford doubled the salary he paid to workers, and they were able to buy cars of their own after 2-3 months. This attracted the workers more towards Ford factory. Even today they follow this mechanism and satisfy workers by high wages.)

     We also see the emergence of Taylorism or Scientific Management. Taylorism or Scientific Management is a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It is one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Taylor followed many trials to measure the amount of work done by a worker in a given period of time. His aim was to scientifically determine the best way of performing a task.

    Taylor attempt to do two things:

1.    Increase the amount of work within a specific period- productivity
2.  Simplify work by breaking it down in to simpler part- deskilling (Breaking work for many activities)

In order to achieve his tasks Taylor conducted a series of time and motion studies.

    Reaction to Taylor’s work came in the form of the Human Relations Movement. Taylor was criticized for being over-rational and dehumanizing. In between 1927-1932 a series of experiments were conducted at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Chicago (Successor AT&T Technologies, USA). (Hawthorne effect, a term used as early as 1950 by Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger, is that changes in participants' behavior during the course of a study and Mayo and Roethlisberger believed it is related only to the special social situation and social treatment the participants received.) These experiments established that work conditions and monetary incentives did not have a direct relation to output and behavior. It found that informal work organization and work groups had an effect on output and behavior. Elton Mayo who conducted the experiments argued that the worker should be seen as a human and social being. He promoted the idea of training managers and administrations in social skills. His idea was not only the task would be done, but also to maintain the relationship. This was the beginning of the Human Relations Schools. (HRS) The HRS was criticized for misunderstanding the causes and nature of industrial conflict. The HRS was also criticized for ignoring trade unions and industrial relations. Studies into industrial relations grew in 1948 the Institute of Industrial Relation Research was founded in the USA.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

What is Industrial Relations (Part I) - The Origins of Industrial Relations

          To understand what is industrial relations, it is important to know about the origins of industrial relations. Since the ancient times, feudalism could be seen around the nations of world, especially at eras of Rome, Alexander, Ashok, and Persian and more. It developed after 1200 AC and furthermore, with invasions of Portuguese, Dutches, British, and   French. Before that, it was seen in both western and eastern kingdoms as well. Slavery could be seen from the great era of ancient Egypt. From that era till American civil war ends one could see slavery system, and feudalism. It expanded further in 1900s in some of regions.

        Under Feudalism there were no industrial relations; the only relationship was master and servant. Then gradual Capitalism began as time passed. To understand the origins of industrial relations, we need to understand the evolution of work under capitalism. Under feudalism we had a master and serf relationship, and serfs were bound to the service of the lord or landowner and remained attached to them. Servant was bound to do what the land lord or master said, even the servant is agreed with it or not. If he was not able to do that, the punishment may be hunger or even death. This didn’t happened in each and every place, but in many places it happened. Many of Negros and invaded nations faced this and other forms of slavery. Industrial relations, arose as a direct consequence of the way capitalism organized work.

       Under the feudalism, also existed the master craftsman who worked independently and created useful items- for example, furniture, boats etc.; and this was sold on the public market. Most of eastern countries, those craftsmen’s were capitalized to some areas, and later they were expanded individually to different types of areas and was able to manage their life with the barter system- exchange goods for another good. Some craftsmen’s, who were able to produce pots, swards, knifes etc., and carpenters etc… followed these methods. There could be seen two predominant forms of works under feudalism.  Those are agriculture/serfdom and craftsman/independent labor. Both survived with the barter system or money exchange latterly, from the serfdoms salary given by master.

        The change from feudalism to capitalism saw the emergence of industrial relations as a discipline. The change from feudalism to capitalism was marked by the industrial revolution, the process began in the 14th and 15th century in Britain, and it was spread among other European countries and to the world. The full impact of this was felt in the middle of the 18th and 19th century. World War I and World War II also gave a great impact of the development of industrial revolution. How it happened? In the World War, all parties involved in it needed to win and they invested much more on machineries such as air crafts, trucks, ships, jeeps and tanks and guns and more. In World War II, the situation was at the peak. Hitler’s invasion to Europe and Japanese invasion to USA and Australia made opportunities to do trials and push nations to be success at wars, finish it immediately by defeat the enemy. There was competition among the nations to be the first. After World Wars, nations pushed themselves in to re-establish new world with peace and prosperous. They were depending on the craft work and agriculture work the major form of production; and succeeded.
By 1950, the world began to talk about industrial relations and the most acceptable definition of that era was done by Professor Barnash in 1954. He defined IR as “Area of study and practice concerned with the administration of the employment function in modern public and private enterprise. This function involves workers, unions, managers, government and various publics”.

         After World War II- this is the time industries has begun to expand over the world than expanding with in one industry, and also expanding and start the evolution of industrial relations.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012


What is the collective bargaining? Collective bargaining is a process of joint decision making in work places. It is the process of negotiation between ‘firms’ and workers’ representatives for the purpose of establishing mutually agreeable conditions of employment to enhance the harmonies working status at the work places. The technique of the Collective bargaining is adopted by two parties to reach and understanding acceptable to both through the process of discussion and negotiation. Collective bargaining is making an opportunity to workers to negotiate their desires with employer and employer also receive an opportunity to discuss with workforces to drive the business to success through this. Definition of the collective bargaining could differ from one company to another, but the general idea of this defined by ILO. International Labor Organization (ILO) has defined collective bargaining as “Negotiation about working conditions and terms of employment between and employer and a group of employees or one or more employee, organization with a view to reaching and agreement wherein the terms serve as a code of defining the rights and obligations of each party in their employment /industrial relations with one another.” Collective bargaining involves discussions and negotiations between two groups as to the terms and conditions of employment. It is called “collective” because both the employer and the employee act as a group rather than as individuals. It is known as “bargaining” because the method of reaching an agreement involves proposals and counter proposals, offers and counter offers and other negotiations. Thus collective bargaining is a collective process in which representatives of both the management and employees participate. The representative groups could be group of management and trade union of the company. Also it is a continuous process which aims an establishing stable relationship between the parties involves in it. Collective bargaining is not only involves the bargaining agreement, but also involves the implementation of such an agreement. It attempts in achieving discipline in the industry as well as company. Collective bargaining is a flexible approach, as the parties’ involves have to adopt a flexible attitude towards negotiations.

Some business critics argue that collective bargaining only has a limited role for professionals in the industry. This is some kind of truth, because the parties who involve this should has much more bargaining ability; than a power. The skill of bargaining is the key factor to receive some thing or not. The professionals of works- such as specialists in the fields are bargaining individually to receive their needs from the employer, and most of employers are willing to satisfy their desires, because of the specialty; but collective action takes different role in these situations. Collective actions has opened the doors to any parties to act on be half of them, to NGO s freelancers and any individual. Financial Times blog has describe this argument very briefly.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Industrial relations encompasses all such factors that influence behavior of people at work

Institutions: It includes government, employers, trade unions, union federations or associations, government bodies, labor tribunals and other organizations which have direct or indirect impact on the industrial relations systems.

Characters: It aims to study the role of workers unions and employers’ federations’ officials, shop stewards, industrial relations officers/ managers, mediator/ arbitrator, judges of labor tribunal etc.

Methods: Methods focus on collective bargaining, workers participation in the industrial relations schemes, discipline procedure, grievance redress machinery, dispute settlements machinery working of closed shops, union reorganization, organizations of protest through methods like revisions of labor tribunals etc.

Contents: It includes matters pertaining to employment conditions like pay, hours of works, leave with wages, health and safety, disciplinary actions, lay-off, dismissals, retirements etc., laws relating to such activities, regulations governing labor welfare, social security, industrial relations, issues concerning with workers’ participation in management, collective bargaining etc.

The term industrial relations have a broad as well as narrow outlook. Originally, industrial relations were broadly defined to include the relationships and interactions between employers and employees. (From this perspective, industrial relations cover all aspects to the employment relationship, including human resource management, employee relations, and union-management (or labor relations). Now its meaning has become more specific and restricted. Accordingly, it pertains to the study and practice of collective bargaining, trade unionism, and labor management relations, while human resource management is separate, largely distinct field that deals with nonunion employment relationships and the personnel practices and policies of employers. This has happens because of the development of human relations in the society and the development of recognition to the worker from society as well as employer. Industrial revolution also contributed to this in partially. Specialization to a specific task has developed the employee/worker to done the job with in short time of period, and it has developed the workers skills in that particular task as well. It is caused to make a demand to the skillful worker at the labor market for his/her abilities, and also created the bargaining power of them to everything than the earlier stages of industrial development, simply at pre industrial revolution, Fayols’ stages etc. Managements/ employers also had to step towards to maintain a good relationship with workers to get maximum output of work and earn profits, and grab the maximum market share to them in competitive market. All these revolutions begin because of the competition in the market and having a competent employee is competitive advantages to them in survived in the market.


What is the importance of the concept of industrial relations?

Industrial relations have become one of the most complex problems of modern industrial society; that complexity has caused to make the importance of industrial relations in the modern world in the function of human resource management. Why is that? The reason is industrial progress is impossible without cooperation of labors and harmonious relationships between workers and management. Therefore, it is in the interest of all to create and maintain good relations between employees and employers (Managers).

“Industrial relations involve attempts at arriving at solutions between the conflicting objectives and values; between the profit motive and social gain; between discipline and freedom, between authority and industrial democracy; between bargaining and co-operation; and between conflicting interests of the individual, the group and the community. - Lester”


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