What are ‘Good’ Industrial Relations?
What are ‘good’ industrial relations? It can simply be described as a workplace in which the employees are motivated and happy. This occurs when a workplace has solved their problems; however there is no single means to achieving this. Pluralism, unitarism and radicalism are three theoretical approaches to industrial relations. Unitarist theory believes that the employees should have the same goals and interests as their employer and view conflict as detrimental to industrial relations. The pluralist perspective views conflict as being inevitable due to the employer having more control than the employee. The business will flourish and grow only when a solution to this conflict has been
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Good industrial relations also rely on the employers taking an active role in managing the employees and taking responsibility for arising conflict and problems. Unitarists believe these conflicts and problems stem from a lack of management, for instance a lack of communication or not properly monitoring the employees to catch problems in either safety or production. The biggest criticism of the unitarist theory is its views on conflict. Out of the three main perspectives previously discussed, unitarism is the only one that believes conflict is avoidable and does not exist in industrial relations. They believe that the employer and employee have the same common goal, despite the fact that throughout history the goals of employees and employers are in constant conflict. They both want to maximize profit but in order for the employee to achieve this, money is taken away from the profits to pay for the salaries. They ignore the fact that employees care about their own personal interests and do not blindly follow the employer’s lead. Another criticism is the unitarist view on unionization; they feel unions are detrimental to industrial relations. They view unions as unnecessary and promote employees uniting against the employers. Unions influence employees to think for themselves and put their own interests first, rather than blindly follow the