industrial relations

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

industrial relations

  1. the general state of relationships between management, TRADE UNIONS and workforce.
  2. the process of determining rates of pay and conditions of employment by COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, the institutions and procedures in which this is done, and the relationships between the key people (for example SHOP STEWARDS and industrial relations managers) involved.

    Industrial relations can therefore refer to both the day-to-day relationship between workers and their supervisor and the more specialized activity of formal NEGOTIATIONS and CONSULTATION. The main subjects of industrial relations include PAY and conditions and, from the employers' perspective, achieving desired levels of productivity in part through the enforcement of work discipline. Industrial relations problems can arise where employees believe that too much effort is required from them for a given set of rewards or that work discipline is harsh or inequitable.

    Industrial relations is often also referred to as ‘labour relations’ or (more commonly today) ‘employee relations’. Many managers prefer the latter term since it is thought to avoid the connotations of conflict and trade unionism associated with both ‘industrial relations’ and ‘labour relations’.

    Within organizations, industrial relations management is often one of the duties of PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, although in many cases negotiation over pay is done by managers whose primary responsibilities lie outside the field. Much of the day-to-day conduct of industrial relations is undertaken by LINE MANAGERS.

industrial relations

the relationships between employees and employers in terms of day-to-day worker-manager dealings and the more formal procedures and institutions through which the two groups determine PAY and conditions of employment. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING is the main means used to determine pay and conditions, and where employers and workers are unable to settle these matters through negotiation, INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES, in particular STRIKES and LOCK-OUTS, may ensue unless the two parties can find alternative means of settling their disputes, such as CONCILIATION, MEDIATION and ARBITRATION.

The general state of relationships between managers and their employees, often represented as a group by TRADE UNIONS, can have significant implications for the effectiveness and competitiveness of the organization and the general health of the economy Poor industrial relations can lead to an inefficient use of labour resources, with poor labour flexibility and RESTRICTIVE LABOUR PRACTICES (overmanning, demarcation restrictions) resulting in reduced PRODUCTIVITY. In addition, strikes involving the loss of working days can seriously disrupt production and lower output. The potential conflict between employers and workers over pay and employment conditions is part of the continuing ‘tug of war’ over the share of NATIONAL INCOME going to CAPITAL and LABOUR respectively.

Because of the importance of good industrial relations in enhancing economic performance, governments have attempted to foster collaborative arrangements between employers and employees through, for example, EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP PLANS and WORKER PARTICIPATION.

References in periodicals archive ?
First, despite Jenkins's statement that he does not neglect industrial relations at the branch or national level, the discussions of such wider themes in his introductory and concluding chapters are not very convincing.
She said: 'Reaching 1,000 graduates shows the continuing relevance of the study of industrial relations.
In company references, the objective was not only to secure an improvement in industrial relations in the company being studied, but to see whether any lessons of more general significance could be drawn from individual cases.
Kelly (1998) supports the view that the employers and employees are the principal parties in industrial relations does not deny the right of preeminence to the pervasive if not over arching influence of the state and its agencies.
Therefore, employees tend to trust and cooperate with the management and a more specific form of organizational climate, related to industrial relations climate, is likely to emerge.
In the words of Keith Hancock, "if each of the themes [of Joe's working life] were embedded in an account of the surrounding history, much of the story of Australian industrial relations of the past half-century would be told.
While explaining the main approaches to the study of industrial relations namely unitarism, pluralism and radicalism, the authors have made it clear that they have followed 'pluralism' as an approach and 'neoinstitutionalism' as tool for analyses.
Mr McAuslan said: "How deeply disappointing that Mr Ridgway has chosen a moment of intense and difficult negotiations to wrongly caricature industrial relations at Virgin Atlantic.
Jim McAuslan said: 'How deeply disappointing that Mr Ridgway has chosen a moment of intense and difficult negotiations to wrongly caricature industrial relations at Virgin Atlantic.
Researchers in economics, business, and human resource management in Asia and the US investigate how industrial relations systems in Asian countries coped with the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the globalization process.
During the meeting, they reviewed commercial and industrial relations between the two countries, means of promoting them and enhancing commercial and industrial cooperation through encouraging the role of private sectors in the two countries.
Complementarities denote a functional interdependence between different institutional domains including the industrial relations system and the system of finance and corporate governance.

Full browser ?