Industrial Relations (IR): Concept, Scope and Objectives
The concept and scope of industrial relations. The functional approaches to industrial relations. . The nature & development of conflict which is the essential . The concept of industrial relations has a very wide meaning and connotation. In the narrow sense, it means that the employer, employee. Social causes: Uninteresting nature of work is the main social cause of poor Industrial relations. Dissatisfaction with job and personal life.
In organizations, individuals do not operate in isolation. They interact and react collectively to various issues in which management has an interest, including productivity. Thus productivity improvement extends beyond the domain of the management of workers and becomes a labour-management or industrial relations issue to be negotiated, settled and implemented jointly by the management and the union. Productivity improvement as an industrial relations issue thus acquires a greater significance in all enterprises where the employees are organized.
In this broad sense it covers the area of personnel management or human resources management and labour-management relations or labour relations.
In its narrower sense it refers only to the relations between management and the unions. And in its popular usage it refers only to labour-management relations. Industrial relations in organizations is the sum total of the management's attitude to labour and of labour's attitude to management's policies and practices that affect the interests of the employees. Industrial relations are, basically, interactions between management and union s. They involve continuous dialogue between the two sides on various issues of common interest; through such dialogues, the two sides shape each other's attitudes.
The approach, methods, strategies and techniques, etc. This is especially true in regard to productivity improvement through industrial relations. It is, therefore, primarily the responsibility of managements to develop industrial relations with workers and the unions so as to promote productivity on a continuing basis. Of all the types of productivity, labour productivity has gained importance for the following reasons: Labour is a human factor that interacts with, reacts with and controls the productivity of other factors.
Labour is not a commodity. It is one of the important factors of production and is universally used in all production and distribution processes. It is a relatively simple concept of the ratio of output to the input of labour. Labour time utilized in the production process is quantifiable and measurable. Every other factor of production can be converted into its labour equivalent past and present labour. The labour productivity index is composite, for in the final analysis it reflects the realisation of many other economic objectives, such as reduction in the cost of production, advantageous location of the industry, degree of specialization, effectiveness of capital investment, use of basic funds, etc.
Unit labour requirements, expressed in terms of work-hours needed to produce a defined good, can be directly added or subtracted.
Industrial Relations (IR): Concept, Scope and Objectives
Inter-firm comparisons of productivity changes over a period of time are possible. Labour embodied in man has a dual role - as the purpose of production as well as a means of production, i. Labour productivity can be a helpful device in linking wages with productivity which in turn promotes good industrial relations.
Productivity improvement through employees and the unions is not a simple task, since unions and their members are not a resource under the complete control of managements. Managements must strive to build an industrial relations climate to motivate unions and union members to cooperate and collaborate with them and to make them understand that both labour and management have common interests and objectives that can be realized only if they work together and continuously enlarge the cake to be shared.
Hence, productivity improvement puts the emphasis on educating the employees and creating productivity awareness and consciousness among them, on involving and consulting the union in developing norms of work and behaviour, on creating opportunities for employee participation in decision-making processes, on negotiating productivity improvements and sharing the gains of productivity, and on understanding together the policies of the State that affect the productivity and profitability of the organization.
The management also has a responsibility to develop a technically qualified workforce, train, retrain and improve their potential, make them responsive to the needs of the organization and extend their cooperation and support to productivity improvement. Productivity improvement through industrial relations and employee participation also calls for the presence of a union that is strong, stable, representative and democratic, and responsive to the employees' and management's needs.
Productivity improvement through industrial relations calls for a different form of industrial relations, in which the usual conflict-oriented adversarial kind is replaced by cooperation and collaboration. The objective of such relations is not merely the maintenance of working relationships but the achievement of cost-effective productivity on a continuing basis.
For this purpose management and unions need to create a permanent structure for ensuring cooperative and collaborative relations - a structure wherein both sides work together towards a common goal. Such a structure could be a joint negotiating committee or a joint labour-management consultation system. It is the responsibility of both management and unions to develop industrial relations that facilitate productivity improvement.
In this process new patterns of collective bargaining, such as integrative bargaining, productivity bargaining, concession bargaining and sectionalized bargaining, may be adopted and put into practice by organizations at different times. Collective bargaining becomes a truly bipartite joint decision-making process where productivity-linked issues are negotiated and settled. The two sides also need to have an effective tailor-made forum for employee participation in order to achieve productivity improvement and identify the issues for discussion in the forum.
The involvement of the unions in productivity improvement is as vital as productivity improvement itself. Hence, an understanding of the changing nature of trade unions, the issues in which unions are interested, their demands and their responses to management demands is a basic requirement.
It is also vital that the management consciously endeavours to help to develop committed trade unions at the enterprise level by recognizing and accepting their institutional role. This will involve regular information sharing and consultation on productivity-related issues and other common concerns, and also the cooperation of the union in educating and training the workers.
The concept of tripartism in productivity improvement also requires that the State, especially in the Third World countries, should play an important role in productivity improvement.
It is the State that lays down the policy and legal framework within which union s and management have to work.
The productivity of enterprises is also affected by state policies on economic, fiscal, trade and industrial matters. Hence, it is necessary to understand the parameters of these policies, which influence industrial relations, employment and non-employment, employee training, working conditions, wages and social security, and the legislative measures that might affect the productivity of organizations.
Keeping in view these dimensions of industrial relations that have a bearing on productivity improvement, we shall now discuss these issues in detail. To assess or judge the quality of industrial relations, some indices of good industrial relations are suggested below: This relationship undergoes change from thesis to antithesis and then to synthesis. This changing process becomes a continuous feature in industrial system and makes IR concept as dynamic and evolving one.
Based on above definitions of IR, the scope of IR can easily been delineated as follows: The mechanism of handling conflicts between employers and employees, in case conflicts arise. The main aspects of industrial relations can be identified as follows: Promotion and development of healthy labour — management relations.
Maintenance of industrial peace and avoidance of industrial strife. Development and growth of industrial democracy. The primary objective of industrial relations is to maintain and develop good and healthy relations between employees and employers or operatives and management.
Definition and scope of industrial relations
The same is sub- divided into other objectives. Thus, the objectives of IR are designed to: Establish and foster sound relationship between workers and management by safeguarding their interests. Avoid industrial conflicts and strikes by developing mutuality among the interests of concerned parties.
Keep, as far as possible, strikes, lockouts and gheraos at bay by enhancing the economic status of workers. Provide an opportunity to the workers to participate in management and decision making process. Raise productivity in the organisation to curb the employee turnover and absenteeism.
Avoid unnecessary interference of the government, as far as possible and practicable, in the matters of relationship between workers and management.