week 10 n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Week 10 PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Week 10

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 59

Week 10 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Week 10. GSBS6040 Human Resources Management asif.hoshiarpur@newcastle.edu.au. Industrial Conflict, Issues of Employee Voice and Ethics of ER and HRM. Conflict. Different approaches to conflict between unitarist and pluralist approaches Increasing need for skills at workplace level

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

Week 10

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
week 10

Week 10

GSBS6040 Human Resources Management


  • Different approaches to conflict between unitarist and pluralist approaches
  • Increasing need for skills at workplace level
  • Less formal methods
the nature of conflict
The nature of conflict
  • Leaner organisations
  • Competitive global environment
  • Overt conflict decreasing but internal is not
  • Nature of conflict changing
negative consequences of conflict
Negative consequences of conflict

Critical Issue 1: Negative Aspects of conflict

‘Conflict is inevitable in the employment relationship’

Debate this statement.

positive consequences of conflict
Positive consequencesof conflict
  • Heightens awareness of issues
  • Catalyst for organisational change
  • Strengthens existing relationships
  • Heightens morale
  • Promotes awareness of self and others
  • Enhances personal development
industrial conflict
Industrial conflict
  • Reducing globally due to:
    • changing nature of work
    • increasing reliance on sub-contracted and casual labour
    • increased employee knowledge and skills to negotiate for themselves
    • focus on individual bargaining
industrial disputes conflict
Industrial disputes/conflict
  • Unresolved dispute/conflict has escalated to a higher level
  • Threat of lost work time, disruptions and/or work bans
  • Relate to breaches of law, awards or agreements
  • Involvement of external agencies
  • Resolution is formal via a recognised tribunal or conciliation and arbitration third-party mechanisms
workplace disputes conflict
Workplace disputes/conflict
  • Result of differences of opinion during bargaining phases
  • Lower level
  • Threat of lost time and/or bans not made
  • Resolved internally with assistance of a third-party mediator
alternative dispute resolution
Alternative dispute resolution
  • Known as ADR
  • Independent, third party
  • Provides stability
  • Can lead to a sense of ‘failure’ for original parties not being able to resolve issue themselves
  • Two main forms: Conciliation and arbitration
  • Precursor to arbitration
  • Third party seeks to bring the disputants to the point where they can reach agreement
  • Unsuccessful resolution can be referred to arbitration
  • Fair Work Act 2009 has reinforced the need for conciliation in the first instance

Formal process when conciliation proves unsuccessful

Involves low levels of negotiator control

Compulsory nature

arbitrator is not chosen

parties cannot opt out of proceedings

decision is legally binding

adr process
ADR process

Critical Issue 2: Third-party dispute resolution

‘Third-party involvement is undesirable in the employment relationship because it deflects responsibility for decisions and behaviour away from the parties directly involved.’ Do you agree with this statement? Justify your response.

  • The process whereby a third party helps the other parties in a conflict to achieve agreement by guiding them

Critical Issue 3: Mediation

Are mediators born or developed? Justify your answer.

definition of negotiation
Definition of negotiation

‘Negotiation (or bargaining) involves the bringing together for examination, comparison and argument the opposing claims of employer(s) and employee(s).’

(Nankervis, Compton, Baird & Coffey 2011, p.511)

  • Aims to:
    • resolve or avert
    • produce mutually acceptable solution
negotiation skills
Negotiation skills

Critical Issue 4: Skills for successful negotiations

Reflect on your own negotiation successes. What skills do you believe assisted in achieving such success?

conflict management styles
Conflict management styles
  • Contending (competing, dominating or fighting)
  • Yielding (accommodating and obliging)
  • Inaction (avoidance)
  • Compromising
  • Problem solving (cooperative problem solving, collaborating or integrating)

Critical Issue 5:

Recognising conflict management styles

‘Generally, avoidance is the best conflict management strategy to adopt, as most conflict tends to resolve itself over time and intervening often serves only to escalate the problem.’ Do you agree with this statement? Justify your response.

cross cultural awareness
Cross-cultural awareness
  • Western individualistic view of conflict not universal
  • Technology not necessarily a solution
  • Action plan to avoid cross-cultural misunderstandings:
    • assess unique features
    • acknowledge
    • attitude adjustment
    • action
    • analysis

Critical Issue 6: Cross-cultural awareness

Is it possible to ever develop a true understanding of cultural issues and differences in a workplace environment?

employee voice
Employee Voice
  • Cranfield University view
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8u67DS8osI
a few concepts first
A few concepts first
  • Official employment contract
  • Psychological contract
  • Exchange relationship
definition employee voice and exit
Definition:Employee Voice (and Exit)

“There are two main types of activist reactions to discontent with organizations to which one belongs or with which one does business: either to voice one's complaints, while continuing as a member or customer, in the hope of improving matters; or to exit from the organization, to take one's business elsewhere.”

[Hirschman 1978:90]

“Voice, as defined by Hirschman, is any attempt to change rather than escape from an unsatisfactory situation. In the employment context, voice involves the expression of dissatisfaction by employees; exit occurs when employees quit.”

[Hirschman, 1970 in Batt, Colvin and O’Keefe, 2002: 574]

definitions and classifications employee voice
Voice as:

An articulation of individual dissatisfaction (or satisfaction)

An expression of collective organisation

Contribution to management decision-making

Demonstration of mutuality and co-operative relations

Mechanisms/practices to express it

Complaint to line manager; grievance procedure; speak-up programme; attitude survey (and exit)

Union recognition; collective bargaining; industrial action

Upward problem-solving groups, QCs, SMTs

Partnership agreements; JCCs; Works Councils

Definitions and classifications‘Employee voice’
the contested nature and changing contours of employee voice
The contested nature and changing contours of employee voice

‘Employee voice’ is a term covering all types of opportunities for employees to have a say and exert some influence over workplace decisions that affect their interests.

The fundamental issue is: how much influence do, and should, employees have over decisions that affect them at work?

We should not look at this area solely in economic terms. It is heavily political: the tension between social legitimacy and managerial power is involved.

employee representation
Employee representation
  • An employee is someone employed directly by an organisation in some capacity/arrangement
    • Differs from a contractual relationship
  • Managers make arrangements with employees to set or change terms of employment such as wages, hours, benefits, conditions, policies and procedures
  • Employee representation describes the mechanism and/or group and/or person who represents the employee’s (or employees’) interests in making or changing those arrangements
classifications of employee representation
Classifications of ‘Employee representation’

There are different forms of representation:

  • Individual vscollective
  • Union vs.non-union
  • State-sponsored vs. employer-initiated

Forms of employee representation vary by

  • purpose
  • degree of independence from management
  • rights and powers.
why do managers recognise employee representation
Why do managers recognise employee representation?

Put another way, why don’t managers make all decisions about employment arrangements themselves?

  • Because they want to recognise employee representation… they see advantages in consulting their employees
  • Because they are forced to recognise employee representation
    • by the power of an individual employee, or collective organisation
    • because the state requires them to deal with employees or their representatives
why do employees want representation
Why do employees want representation?

Why do employees want representation other than themselves in this process?

  • Imbalance of power
  • Imbalance of information
  • Imbalance of experience/expertise
  • Other?
individual v collective
Individual v. collective

Employees can represent their interests as individuals, either themselves, or with another party acting for them (eg. lawyer, guardian)

For example, through

  • individual discussions
  • individual bargaining or using individual agents
  • employee attitude surveys or similar mechanisms
  • feedback to line managers/team members
  • participation in problem-solving groups
individual v collective1
Individual v. collective

Individual representation may not work:

  • Impractical/costly (for employers), especially in large organisations
  • costly (for employees), using lawyers, agents
  • ineffective (for employees), especially because of power imbalance

So collective forms of representation emerge:

  • Union and non-union forms
  • Great diversity within and between industries and countries
voluntary recognition by managers of collective representation
Voluntary recognition by managers of collective representation
  • Values? Because managers believe in democracy at work
  • Efficiency? Because managers consider that listening to employees will produce better management decisions, leading to better organisational performance
    • Significant evidence that this is true [eg. Gill and Krieger 1999]
  • Pragmatism? Because, tactically, consulting voluntarily with employees avoids more negative and restrictive forms of employees representation
management initiated non union representation
Management-initiated non-union representation
  • Employers’ interest in management-initiated employee representation has waxed and waned over the years
      • Employee ‘forums’
      • Attitude surveys
  • Australian managers do not have a strong history of engaging their employees through these mechanisms
  • Some exceptions eg. ICI Botany (see Davis & Lansbury 1996); Hydro Aluminium Kurri Kurri; Edison Mission Energy at Loy Yang B; BOC Gas; Lincoln Electric
  • These forms, while they may deliver mutual gains, can be fragile in the face of change (eg. change in management)
state sanctioned non union representation
State-sanctioned non-union representation
  • Intervention by the state (mostly through legislative requirements on employers) usually involves:
    • ‘indirect’ forms of employee representation, such as Works Councils, elected worker directors
    • both consultative and decision-making (i.e. ‘co-determination’)
  • Existence is independent of managers
  • Australia has few examples of state-sanctioned employee representation:
    • OH&S committees
    • non-union collective bargaining
    • Access to grievance procedures
  • Most common in Europe (eg. Germany, Norway); also in Japan, Korea in the form of Works Councils
union forms of collective employee representation
Union Forms of Collective Employee Representation
  • What is a trade union?

‘an organisation consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment of its members’ (ABS)

  • Originally a trades focus but may be organised along other lines
  • A key feature of unions is the degree of their independence from management
    • ‘enterprise’ unions – traditionally in Japan, now in China
    • vs. fully independent legal organisations, required to represent the interests of their members
collective voice

“Collective voice achieves what the lone voice could never do: it humanizes and civilizes the workplace.”

the contested nature and changing contours of employee voice1
The contested nature and changing contours of employee voice

Few governments leave choices in this area solely to management: after all, we are talking here about what sort of limits should be placed on ‘management prerogative’.

Ultimately, the justification for employee voice is as an end in its own right in a society committed to democratic values and in a world-order, or international trading environment, in which the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and various governments have an interest in baseline labour standards.

Question: How does the demand for employee voice vary over time? In your view, where are we now in what Ramsay (1997) called the ‘cycle of control’?

the contested nature and changing contours of employee voice2
The contested nature and changing contours of employee voice

Direct voice is about workers having a say in how to do their jobs (e.g. deciding on work methods) or having influence over their personal working conditions (e.g. choosing their start-and-finish times).

This form of voice is worked out in the relationship between the individual and their supervisor or it may be based around a process of decision-making in the work team (e.g. problem-solving groups and self-managing teams).

This kind of voice is largely informal and located at the point of production.

what is ethics
What is Ethics?
  • Ethics is a code of behaviour set by a community that may differ from a code of behaviour set by another community. eg consumption of alcohol in public.
  • Euthanasia, the voluntary ending of a person’s life is legal in some nations but illegal in others
  • One ordinarily feels obliged to be ethical as it is codified by laws set by the community
two views of ethics
Two views of ethics
  • At one extreme there is the ‘pure’ view of ethics. If an act is wrong then it is wrong!!
  • At the other extreme there is the view that an act can be seen as ethical if it creates an outcome for the common good.
ethical thinking
Ethical Thinking
  • It is concerned with Justifying
  • It adopts an impartial point of view, and so is different from Self-interest
  • It results in Judgements that are not limited to me or you, but are universal in form, e.g. “it is wrong to lie to OR to cheat another person” OR
  • It may be acceptable to lie to another or others if this is for the common good.
ethical theories two extremes
Ethical Theories – Two extremes
  • Deontology - Ethics as recognizing “Duties”. Based on what is moral. Based very much on philosophy and theology. An act is right or wrong.
  • Utilitarianism - Ethics as bringing about the most good for the community. Ends may justify the means.
utilitarianism pros and cons
Utilitarianism: Pros and Cons
  • The Plus Side: we should always act to bring about a better world, not just abide by rules
  • The Minus Side: what if bringing about a good result requires violating rights? The Utilitarianist will argue that rights are not fundamental
methods to ensure ethical practice in organisations
Methods to ensure Ethical Practice in Organisations
  • How do organisations seek to ensure that employees and associates behave ‘ethically’?
  • How well do these methods work?
method 1 code of practice
Method 1: Code of practice

Eg. Code of conduct for The University of Newcastle

  • The University of Newcastle is firmly committed to the principles of cooperation, collaboration, inclusion, flexibility and innovation.
  • As a result, the University is a model for integrity, excellence, achievement and has a clear sense of identity.  ...
  • The code aims to maintain public trust and confidence in the integrity and professionalism of our graduates, the teaching and learning, research and research training, and community service activities of the University and the facilities and services that make up the University experience.
  • This code applies to students, staff, [and others eg. University Council] ...

What is required to make a Code of Conduct effective?

method 2 organisational values
Method 2: Organisational values

Values can be defined as: “central desires or beliefs regarding final states or desirable conducts that transcend specific situations, guide the choice and evaluation of our decisions and, therefore of our conducts, becoming an integral part of our way of being and acting to the point of shaping our character … Values are normative: they tell us how we should behave - although they are often presented in positive terms.”

Can organisations have values?

method 3 whistleblower protection
Method 3: Whistleblower protection
  • One definition of ‘whistleblowing’ is:
    • … the disclosure by organisation members (former or current) of illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers to persons that may be able to effect action. [Select Committee, 1994]
  • In Australia, legislation is generally limited to people with information about public sector organisations
  • Protections may include anonymity, protection from reprisal or prosecution
  • What might barriers to effective whistleblower protection within private sector organisations?
method 4 special role of hrm er managers
Method 4:Special role of HRM/ER managers

HRM managers are often seen as employee champions

  • Promoting initiatives such as family-friendly workplaces, back-to-work programs
  • Ensuring that line managers abide by regulation/legislation eg. EEO, fair dismissal
  • Providing (confidential?) counselling/welfare services
  • Promoting benefits of training and development
  • Ensuring good process in application of policies, agreements eg. Access to leave
method 5 professional ethics
Method 5:Professional ethics

Traditionally linked to

Bodies of recognised professional knowledge

Roles where poor practice/unethical practice has a potentially significant impact on clients/patients

Eg. medicine, law, engineering

More recently psychology, and now HRM

Relevance/ importance depends on?

  • Acknowledgement of role of professional body
  • sanctions
ethics and hrm er

Ethics and HRM/ER

Do HRM/ER professionals have a code of ethics?

What options does a professional have where s/he is asked to act in what they see as an unethical manner?

ethics and hrm professionals
Ethics and HRM professionals

[HR managers] face constant ethical pressure . . . .

[They] straddle the often fine line between the individual rights of employees and corporate interests . . . .

As industries restructure, merge, downsize and expand internationally, the HR manager’s work becomes even more complicated.

Human rights versus corporate profit will always be a tightrope these professionals must walk in making decisions.

[Weiss, 1994: 49 in Martin and Woldring, 2001:245]

business ethics
Business Ethics
  • Is the very idea a muddle? – some slogans
  • ‘Business Ethics’ is an oxymoron
  • Business is business
  • Business is just a game
  • These all suggest that business is amoral – or even immoral
  • Is business amoral or immoral?
  • What is the difference between these terms?
business ethics1
Business Ethics
  • Amoral is where a person or business is indifferent to whether some action is right or wrong
  • With regard to an individual, the person may not know the difference
  • Immoral is where the person or business deliberately does the wrong thing, even by their own values
is business morally dubious
Is Business morally dubious?
  • A famous Economist seemed to think so!

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greater good of everyone”.

John Maynard Keynes

the case of the mystery shopper
The case of the mystery shopper
  • Mystery shoppers are becoming very popular in retails and hospitality
  • They are employed to ‘pretend’ to be a customer
  • They then report back to those who have employed them to investigate
  • Is this ethical??
  • Why? Why not?


Tutorial Class/Exercise