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The Commission on Industrial Relations' (CIR) report on industrial relations training was published on 13 December together with a short practical guide for unions and employers. The CIR had been asked in 1970 by the Secretary of State for Employment to inquire and report on the facilities for training in industrial relations available to those in management, unions and employers' associations, and to employees generally. John Purcell is a senior industrial relations officer at the Commission and has been a senior member of the team carrying out the inquiry. In this article Mr Purcell concentrates on one of the themes of the report: planning training for change in industrial relations.
Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a…
Since the late 1970s, the study of the role, structure and functions of personnel management in the United Kingdom has been greatly facilitated by surveys emerging from a number of large‐scale surveys. A major interest in interpreting the data from these surveys has been to evaluate the impact of recession, and, latterly, recovery on the power, structure and roles of personnel departments and personnel specialists in recent years. The survey data are used comparatively to evaluate the empirical plausibility of the different scenarios which have arisen, and to account for the results that emerge.
The purpose of this paper is to show the way to unlock the black box of HRM and performance linkages by exploring one of the key variables that mediates the link, namely…
The purpose of this paper is to show the way to unlock the black box of HRM and performance linkages by exploring one of the key variables that mediates the link, namely whether line managers can stimulate improvements in firm performance by eliciting appropriate employee outcomes in a call centre context.
The research draws on Purcell's “People‐Performance Model” as a sensitising framework to inform an in‐depth case study of a call centre. This provides a mechanism to unlock the HRM‐Performance black box by focusing on the ability, motivation and opportunities for line managers to perform and any subsequent impact on employee outcomes. Data were collected over multiple site visits by means of multi‐level interviews and a survey of telesales representatives (TSRs).
Research findings indicate that one large client exerted significant control over the HRM policies developed within the call centre. Evidence suggests, however, that line managers' interventions ameliorated some of the negative aspects of work tasks and the HRM imposed by this dependency relationship.
This research is an exploratory attempt to better understand HRM‐Performance linkages in one specific context. Results are not generalisable across contexts or even within call centres, which can vary extensively. Nonetheless, the research suggests that exploring line management behaviour is a promising avenue for more extensive research.
This paper considers HRM‐Performance linkages in a service context. Results indicate that both external relations and line managers are critical mediating variables conditioning HRM‐Performance linkages, thereby lending support to the notion that hard and soft HRM practices are not necessarily irreconcilable.
The Oxford Institute for Employee Relations (OXIFER) is a small research and teaching community based at Templeton College, Oxford. It aims to link advanced research with…
The Oxford Institute for Employee Relations (OXIFER) is a small research and teaching community based at Templeton College, Oxford. It aims to link advanced research with teaching and the widespread dissemination of findings, focusing primarily on the role of management in employee and industrial relations and examining aspects of employee relations. Four research projects are currently under way. The first, Development and Dissemination of the Industrial Relations Audit, involves identifying an organisation's existing industrial relations practices and comparing and contrasting these with the desired position as perceived by senior managers or a joint body of senior managers and union representatives. Line Management of Industrial Relations uses data from the audits conducted in the first project to study the industrial relations role of line managers. The Management of Employee Relations in the Multidivisional Company focuses on the strategic choices open to senior line managers and personnel management. Management of Change and the Contribution of Industrial Relations Training aims to gain a better understanding of the process of change in a variety of organisations with particular reference to the contribution which industrial relations training in its broadest sense can make to change. Common themes running through the projects are methodology, employment relations and the management of change and the apparent current managerial concern with quality.
In the last few years increasing attention has been paid to employee relations management within the multi‐divisional company. This has come about partly because of the…
In the last few years increasing attention has been paid to employee relations management within the multi‐divisional company. This has come about partly because of the recent growth in the incidence of such organisational structures within Britain and partly because of the growing realisation that employee relations management within multi‐divisional structures differs from other organisational structures; for instance the unitary or functionally organised company.
The paper puts forward an analytical and conceptual model for studying the exercise of strategic choice and the development of new forms of employment relations in the…
The paper puts forward an analytical and conceptual model for studying the exercise of strategic choice and the development of new forms of employment relations in the public service sector. It then seeks to present some findings from the initial phase of a three year ESRC funded project related to research questions generated by this model.
Systematically evaluates changes in people management in one case study, the London Borough of Brent, as the major arena for the regulation of employment relations in…
Systematically evaluates changes in people management in one case study, the London Borough of Brent, as the major arena for the regulation of employment relations in local government moves from the national to the authority level. Considers the impact of upstream decisions on mission, purpose and structure and of downstream decisions on employment relations, as they relate to the structure of the personnel function, the role of line managers in personnel activities, the way staff are treated and the role of the unions, based upon a strategic choice model. Argues that there are, indeed, strong linkages between Brent’s upstream decision to become a “competitive market” authority and devolve decision making to business units and the dimensions of employment relations distinguished. However, the consequences of the upstream‐downstream relationship were not necessarily as intended by the Borough, with some of the results having highly dysfunctional consequences for the organization.
A new breed of tough managers, almost contemptuous of unions and negotiating procedures, seems to have emerged. “Macho Management” one British Leyland shop steward called it at the time of the strike, referring to plant management's rediscovery of the management prerogative. The spirit is almost of the divine right of managers to manage, to broach no argument and get on with the job of directing, controlling and enforcing order over a demoralised workforce.
The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III…
The librarian and researcher have to be able to uncover specific articles in their areas of interest. This Bibliography is designed to help. Volume IV, like Volume III, contains features to help the reader to retrieve relevant literature from MCB University Press' considerable output. Each entry within has been indexed according to author(s) and the Fifth Edition of the SCIMP/SCAMP Thesaurus. The latter thus provides a full subject index to facilitate rapid retrieval. Each article or book is assigned its own unique number and this is used in both the subject and author index. This Volume indexes 29 journals indicating the depth, coverage and expansion of MCB's portfolio.