Pluralistic perspective in industrial relationship

Approaches To Industrial Relations - Management Study IR

pluralistic perspective in industrial relationship

The pluralist industrial relations paradigm analyzes work and the employment relationship from a theoretical perspective rooted in an inherent conflict of interest . Fox believed that this view of the organization probably represents the received orthodoxy in many western societies and is often associated. Pluralistic Perspective - In pluralism the organization is perceived as being made up of powerful and divergent sub groups - management and trade unions.

pluralistic perspective in industrial relationship

Some of us look at the world from the perspective of religion; some have secular values as their organising centre.

Some differences are bred by our peculiar culture so that the Muslims among us probably find wives serving their husbands normal, while others might find the idea unacceptable.

Differences however also exist within cultures. The population of one country could have a variety of religions, political beliefs, and cultural identities.

What are the approaches to Industrial Relations? definition and meaning - Business Jargons

The number and power of the various interest groups will act as a brake on the power and influence of the other interest group, so in relation to pluralism implications to industrial relations, management should there for except the reality of opposing interest and that workplace quarrel is a common component of social dynamics of present industrial organisations.

In this regard it is argued to not only provide management with the most efficient means for institutionalising employment rules and minimising the level of workplace conflict, but to also encourage fairer outcomes by enabling employees to organise and counter-balance the power of managers when negotiating workplace contracts K. There are three analytic perspectives that can be brought to bear on the topic of industrial relations: At the lower level of analysis, explicit theorisation of the industrial relations situation is poorly developed.

This may in part be due to the fact that industrial relations are fundamentally interdisciplinary, having no distinct status as a discipline and no distinct conceptual apparatus around which to frame review and discuss.

Industrial relations has proved generally incapable of restating or revisiting its core paradigms, as they were established in the s. However unitarism philosophy is a new derivative, coming out of the s.

It is a market-oriented philosophy where the whole organisation is geared to success in the marketplace, with commitment to customer satisfaction and high standards of quality.

A key component of unitarism is the importance given to HRM. It is held that any organisational change should be achieved through the development of the full potential of employees.

Pluralist perspective of employment relations

It emphasises the importance of the development and maintenance of organisational culture that seeks to develop everyone to their full potential and hence secure full and enthusiastic commitment to the aims of the organisation.

In support of this emphasis, the unitarism perspective focuses strongly on the training of individuals, providing them with career development plans, opportunities for promotion and performance-related pay.

Unitarists start from a set of assumptions and values that hold workplace conflict is not an inevitable characteristic of relations between managers and employees. Conflict in the workplace may periodically emerge between the two, but such occurrences are believed to be aberrations in a relationship that is inherently prone to be cooperative K.


This perspective runs strongly counter to the traditional union philosophy of collective bargaining, which tends to determine the terms and conditions of employees on a group basis. The unitarism perspective makes the personnel function pivotal in any organisation. Unitarism philosophy arose out of the human relations HR movement, and is probably the most dominant contemporary organisational paradigm.

Development, they argue, can only occur through the dialectic of the owners of the means of production with those who offer their labour. Progress can only occur, it is held, when the homeostatic self interest of the owners is challenged or overturned by the equality seeking working class.

Whilst Karl Marx theory is usually held to be the foundation of Marxism, it is widely accepted that some of his century old ideas are no longer valid.

pluralistic perspective in industrial relationship

Applying a Marxist frame of reference to employee relations, social conflict is viewed as a natural outcome of capitalism, the result of on-going struggle between two competing social classes, whilst industrial conflict is viewed as being a reflection of this struggle played out in the workplace K.

Indeed the uprising of the masses rebelling against the unfair capitalist system has not yet materialised and it can be argued that it is unlikely to. Yet Marxist theory has been developed into a more pluralist viewpoint.

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  • Approaches to Industrial Relations

Rather than out and out conflict and rebellion of Marxist theory, the pluralists hold that the peaceful resolution of conflict is a better way forward. Whilst it is recognised that management hold the balance of power, pluralism holds that institutions and processes of organisational relations should seek to resolve any conflicts arising from this power by reaching a workable compromise acceptable to all stakeholders.

This can be down to a number of issues such as pay, working conditions, bonuses and working hours and it is over issues like these that conflict often occurs.

Industrial Relations: Concepts and Approaches of Industrial Relations (Chapter-1)

The pluralist perspective during the twentieth century include a widespread distribution of authority and power in society, ownership separation from management, political separation and industrial conflict and an acceptance and institutionalization of conflict in both spheres.

These aims and interests often conflict and compete with other groups and give rise to tensions which have to be management. The pluralist organisation has many source of loyalty and authority in groups, trade unions and other sectional interests. Pluralist organisation approach sees conflicts of interest and disagreements between managers and workers over the distribution of profits as normal and inescapable.

According to the pluralist perspective, management-employee conflict is both rational and inevitable and stems from the different roles of managerial and employee groups. Consequently, the role of management would lean less towards enforcing and controlling and more toward persuasion and co-ordination.

Trade unions are deemed as legitimate representatives of employees. Conflict is dealt by collective bargaining and is viewed not necessarily as a bad thing and if managed could in fact be channeled towards evolution and positive change.

Realistic managers should accept conflict to occur. There is a greater propensity for conflict rather than harmony.