WORKER DEVELOPMENT - Industrial Relations Management

HRD has become the key factor in India handling industrial relations to usher new industrial era. Managing men at work has been a most complex problem for management scientists. Some studies are:

  1. Scientific management – 1910,
  2. Time and Motion Studies – 1910,
  3. Human Relations Approach – 1920,
  4. Behaviour Science Movement – 1950,
  5. Human Resource Management (HRD) Movement – 1980.

As result of these studies coupled with emergence of strong trade union movement and labour legislation, man management has gone evolutionary change. Inspite of this evolution of management thought,it is still dilemma as to which approach is best in handling industrial relations.The two extreme trends are:

At One Extreme

  1. Trade Unions have become ‘second-line’ management. Managerial prerogatives are eroded.
  2. New generation of workers is more conscious of rights and privileges rather than duties and obligations towards the organization.
  3. Trade unions remain silent about workers’ obligations towards organization. Forthright leaders, if talk, they are dubbed as “management stooges”.
  4. Trade unions succeed in getting more through pressures and violence than by reasoning.
  5. Collective bargaining has become a pressure game. Unions are exploiting the emotions of workers.
  6. Only fear and force can restore discipline.
  7. Trade unions should be dealt with a heavy hand.(Authoritarian or hard approach)

At the Other Extreme

  1. Human beings are considered as assets not liabilities.
  2. Employees should be cared for, persuaded and motivated.
  3. It is felt forced disciplined is not enduring.
  4. Trade union’s through a pain-in-neck are a reality. They have role to play.
  5. Conflict and confrontation to be avoided. Win-lose strategy does not work for long.
  6. Manager’s should not spend much time on trade union wrangles but on preventive and proactive approaches and actions. Environment in the organization is creation of the management. An environment of conflict can be converted into cooperation and collaboration. (Humane and soft approach)

Human Resource Development (HRD) Approach

Balanced approach lies somewhere in between:

  1. Human Resource Development (HRD) generally covers some sub-systems, e.g. training and development, counseling, performance appraisal, career planning, etc. But HRD can extend to industrial relations (IR).
  2. HRD is new concept. It is a renaissance of traditional ways of man management. Due to new economic policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG), competition in the local market with MNC’s and changing technologies, there are fast changes in industrial relations scene. A number of practices are involved in organizations, e.g. restructuring of organizations, ERP, VRS, disinvestment of government shares, TQM, ISO 9000, Etc.

Companies are projecting certain views which are:

  1. There will never be job security.
  2. One will be employed as long as he adds value to the organization, Economic Value Addition (EVA).
  3. Employee should continuously find ways to add value by being innovative, risk-taking and committed to organization goals.

In turn employee has right to demand:

  1. Interesting and important work,
  2. Freedom and resources to perform it well,
  3. Proper pay
  4. Training.
  5. Employees become more responsible for their work and careers.

New deal in employee relationship calls for:

  1. Less control over employees and give more authority to work in teams.
  2. No more parent-child relationship, but adult to adult. Employees are to be treated as partners with management.
  3. Use of modern approaches to job design for better job satisfaction-such as job rotation, job enrichment, quality circles, flexi-time, compressed work week, to increase skill variety, task identity, task significance and autonomy and job feed-back. These will play positive role in employee satisfaction and make him feel his work is meaningful.
  4. Workers to be moved from one job category to another to enhance their exposure and employable skills.
  5. Management to encourage training as old jobs are getting extinct. This will provide job security.
  6. Management will explain to workers/unions importance of customer satisfaction, quality and low price to remain competitive.

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Industrial Relations Management Topics