Search results1 – 10 of over 1000
This chapter addresses a practical industrial relations problem, namely the absence of a monitoring framework to assess and improve labor–management relations in…
This chapter addresses a practical industrial relations problem, namely the absence of a monitoring framework to assess and improve labor–management relations in organizations. The authors argue that assessing and improving organizational labor relations requires attention to both vertical and horizontal alignments of labor relations institutions and practices. Vertical alignment refers to the internal consistency across the strategic, functional, and workplace levels noted by Kochan, Katz, and McKersie in their strategic choice framework (1986). Drawing on two “best practice” labor relations cases, Saturn and Kaiser Permanente as well as two original case studies of healthcare organizations, the authors develop the notion of horizontal alignment, i.e., the internal consistency across labor relations processes, substantive issues, and outcomes.
Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation…
Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation for the weak or altogether missing performance effects is that researchers rely on frameworks that focus almost exclusively on contingencies related to the workers themselves or to the set of tasks subject to participatory processes. This study is premised on the notion that a broader examination of the employment relationship within which a worker participation program is embedded reveals a wider array of factors impinging upon its success. I integrate labor relations theory into existing insights from the strategic human resource management literature to advance an alternative framework that additionally accounts for structures and processes above the workplace level – namely, the (potentially implicit) contract linking employees to the organization and the business strategies enacted by the latter. The resulting propositions suggest that the performance-enhancing impact of worker participation hinges on the presence of participatory or participation-supporting structures at all three levels of the employment relationship. I conclude with implications for participation research.
Since the 1980s the U.S. has experienced a variety of partnership arrangements between labor and management focused on improving industrial relations and organizational…
Since the 1980s the U.S. has experienced a variety of partnership arrangements between labor and management focused on improving industrial relations and organizational performance (Ichniowski et al., 1996; Kochan et al., 1986; McKersie, 2002; Rubinstein & Kochan, 2001). Yet there is an absence of research comparing these partnerships across industries and evaluating the factors that: (a) contribute to their success; (b) seem to be barriers to achieving their stated goals; or (c) predict which ones will stand the test of time. (For exceptions see Preuss & Frost, forthcoming 2003; Rubinstein, 2001b). This paper summarizes recent U.S. experience with partnerships; identifies factors that seem to influence the formation and sustainability of partnerships, including the development of network ties across traditional boundaries; and suggests theoretical and empirical implications of this experience in building and sustaining partnerships at work. We draw on a variety of types of evidence from the authors’ cumulated experience and research with more than 50 such partnerships in the U.S., spanning multiple industries and multiple decades.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the usability of the Cultural Framework Analysis Process, a strategy designed to examine cultural factors in mentoring endeavors…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the usability of the Cultural Framework Analysis Process, a strategy designed to examine cultural factors in mentoring endeavors and to identify whether there are patterns of cultural elements that served to hinder or facilitate mentoring programs across a variety of organizations and contexts. The process also involves identifying methods for overcoming the barriers and enhancing the facilitating factors.
Graduate students in a class on mentoring were given an assignment to analyze a mentoring program using the Cultural Framework Analysis Process. They were also asked to share their most significant learning outcomes. Data were gathered by two student groups over a two-year period. Researchers determined the usability of the analysis process by evaluating the quality of the student submissions. They aggregated the data and conducted a content analysis on the facilitating and hindering factors to determine commonalities and the lessons learned.
The Cultural Framework Analysis Process appears to be a useful tool in examining and dealing with cultural elements in mentoring programs and relationships. The barriers and facilitating factors were closely related to one another. The five barriers to success were matching processes; mentee attitude toward matching; lack of organizational support; static or closed organizational culture; and organizational or community culture. The five factors that facilitated mentoring endeavors were: comprehensive and flexible matching; mentee/mentor attitudes; training; organizational culture and demonstrated commitment; and a focus on mentees.
The ability to examine the cultural elements in the context of mentoring is vital in assuring mentoring success. Having a description of how the process was conducted should be of value to those wanting to engage in similar analyses. The findings related to the factors identified should help guide those engaged in mentoring endeavors to become more aware of elements to consider and deal with as they create and operationalize their programs.
There is a need to enhance the knowledge about the cultural factors involved in mentoring programs and relationships. This research study expands the understanding and presents findings about barriers and supports to mentoring that have not been previously reported. It also provides a mechanism for others to conduct similar analyses as they develop, implement and research mentoring endeavors.
Analysis of the responses of 131 local union officers to a questionnaire found that a number of variables are related to the attitudes of union leaders toward quality of…
Analysis of the responses of 131 local union officers to a questionnaire found that a number of variables are related to the attitudes of union leaders toward quality of worklife (QWL). Unions are morelikely to participate in a QWL program if local officers feel that unions can influence government policy, their members expect them to make progress on QWL issues, and if it is important to have good local‐member relations. Unions are less likely to participate in a QWL program if officers believe that unions are strong, feel employers favor severe tactics, and place a priority on traditional bargaining issues. For unions involved in a QWL program, union strength and perceived influence over government policy were related to positive attitudes regarding the long‐term future of QWL. For unions without QWL experience,severe management policies toward unions, and higher member expectations for local performance on QWL issues were related to more favorable attitudes toward QWL, while the officer’s tenure in position was related to a less favorable view of QWL. For locals involved in a QWL program, satisfaction with QWL increases if officers feel the labor movement needs to change its attitude and approach to problems, the labor relations climate is favorable, the local has sufficient bargaining power, and the overall performance of the local is satisfactory. The results suggest that “get tough” management policies toward unions will negatively affect union participation in and satisfaction with QWL efforts.
Managing conflicts between employees and supervisors is a critical issue in maintaining productive labor‐management relations. This study uses the theory of cooperation…
Managing conflicts between employees and supervisors is a critical issue in maintaining productive labor‐management relations. This study uses the theory of cooperation and competition to specify the nature of the relationship and the flexible strategies that facilitate mutually beneficial solutions to employee complaints. Results based on interviews of supervisors and union employees in a remote site in British Columbia support the hypotheses that cooperative, compared to competitive and independent, goals promote open‐minded discussions of complaints that result in efficient resolutions which benefit both supervisors and employees. Results suggested that developing cooperative goals and open‐minded negotiation skills can help supervisors and employees to create integrative solutions to shopfloor conflicts.
This chapter examines the rise and fall of the Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations (Dunlop Commission) in the early 1990s. It uses the events…
This chapter examines the rise and fall of the Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations (Dunlop Commission) in the early 1990s. It uses the events surrounding the Commission to provide an insight into the dynamics of the struggle over federal labor law reform. The inability of the Dunlop Commission to get labor and management representatives to agree on proposals for labor law reform demonstrated, yet again, that employer opposition is the greatest obstacle to the protection of organizing rights and modernization of labor law. For the nation's major management associations, labor law reform is a life and death issue, and nothing is more important to them than defeating revisions to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) intended to strengthen organizing rights. The failure of labor law reform in the 1990s also demonstrated that the labor movement would never win reform by means of an “inside the beltway” legislative campaign – designed to push reform through the US Senate – because the principal employer organizations would always exercise more influence in Congress. Instead, unions must engage with public opinion, and convince union and nonunion members about the importance of reform. Thus far, however, they lack an effective language with which to do this.
The purpose of this paper is to examine a long-term mentoring relationship between a White female from the Traditional Generation and an African American male from the…
The purpose of this paper is to examine a long-term mentoring relationship between a White female from the Traditional Generation and an African American male from the Xennial Generation, as engaged in a mentoring relationship within higher education institutions in the USA. The study investigated if, how and to what degree the differences and similarities between them influenced their mentoring relationship.
The authors used an autoethnographic approach involving extensive questioning, dialoguing, note keeping and analysis over eight months.
The analysis suggested that race had the greatest influence on the relationship. The primary reasons for mentoring success were similarities in family backgrounds and commonly held values.
This study may not be generalizable to mentoring relationships that do not involve cultural differences in race, age or gender.
The paper offers a model for the types of strategies individuals can use in cross-racial mentoring endeavors to help build and sustain these relationships. It also includes suggestions for individuals engaged in mentoring relationships, which include gender, race or age differences, and organizations seeking to enhance diversity within their institutions.
There is not an extensive body of research on individual cross-racial, gender and generational mentoring that provides an analysis of the experience of those involved. Additionally, the model presented for examining cross-racial mentoring relationships is unique.
This chapter explores the adoption and implementation of a conflict management system (CMS) in a hospital setting. In particular, it uncovers the different motivations and…
This chapter explores the adoption and implementation of a conflict management system (CMS) in a hospital setting. In particular, it uncovers the different motivations and challenges associated with a CMS across various stakeholders within the organization.
The chapter is based on qualitative research conducted in a large American hospital that adopted and implemented a CMS over the course of 15 months. The author conducted extensive interviews with stakeholders across the organization, including top management, union leaders, middle managers, clinicians, and frontline staff. Findings are also based on an array of observations, including stakeholder meetings and conflict management sessions.
The case study demonstrates the centrality of underexplored, generalizable, and industry-specific pressures that may lead organizations to reconsider their use of traditional dispute resolution practices and to institute a CMS. It also highlights the inherent organizational ambivalence toward the design and adoption, initiation and implementation, and routine use of a CMS and it documents the different types of outcomes delivered to various stakeholders.
The chapter provides a nuanced portrait of the antecedents to and consequences of the transformation of conflict management within one organization. It contributes to the existing body of research exploring the 30-year rise of alternative dispute resolution and CMSs in a growing proportion of firms in the United States. The use of an in-depth case-study method to examine this CMS experience offers a number of important insights, particularly regarding different stakeholder motivations and outcomes.
With the decentralization and deregulation of the labor market over the past decade or so, there has been considerable debate about the future of industrial relations as a…
With the decentralization and deregulation of the labor market over the past decade or so, there has been considerable debate about the future of industrial relations as a discipline or field of enquiry in Australia. Much of this literature assumes a discipline in decline, or at least at a crossroads, in terms of its purpose and continued relevance. In order to both evaluate these general claims and provide a more nuanced understanding of the future of the field in Australia, this chapter examines industrial relations in terms of three major dimensions: as a field of teaching, research, and practice. This exercise reveals important differences about the situation facing the discipline. Despite advances by human resource management (HRM) in universities, the teaching of industrial relations remains important even if its separate identity is contracting slightly at the present time. In terms of research, the multi-disciplinary and policy-oriented approach has much to contribute to understanding the changing world of industrial relations in Australia and remains a strong dimension of the field. However, in the area of industrial relations practice we observe a major decline as industrial relations and human resource professionals in Australia have become less important both in the wider regulation of work and within business organizations. We conclude that the field needs to broaden its focus to ‘work and employment relations’, seek more theoretically informed ways to explain contemporary developments in labor markets and societies, while at the same time remain committed to its traditional goals of equity and efficiency.