The Best Theory of Industrial Relations Essay

1371 Words 6 Pages
The Best Theory of Industrial Relations

There are many different approaches and theories regarding industrial relations nowadays. In order to mount an opinion on which is the ‘best’ or most appropriate theory of industrial relations, each theory will have to be analyzed. The three most prevalent theories of industrial relations which exist are The Unitarist theory, The Pluralist theory and The Marxist theory. Each offers a particular perception of workplace relations and will therefore interpret such events as workplace conflict, the role of trade unions and job regulation very differently. I will examine each of these theories in turn and then formulate my own opinion regarding which is the ‘best’ or most appropriate theory.

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However when conflict does arise, it can be the result of breakdowns in communication, clashes in personalities within the organisation or by ‘troublemakers’. As conflict is abnormal and seen as irrational there is no need for trade union representation within the company. Trade unionism is regarded as a threat as trade unions are seen as an intrusion into the organisation from outside who compete with management for the loyalty of its employees. Employers are also opposed to recognizing collective bargaining initiatives as this will only diminish their decision making initiatives and responsibilities further. Under the Unitarist theory ‘under no circumstances should unions have a part to play in the exercise of authority and decision making within the organisation, as this would represent a violation of managerial prerogative’ (Ed Rose, 2001). The existence of trade unions and collective bargaining is therefore resisted wherever possible. A perfect example of where trade unionism is resisted is with Ryanair. Ryanair have one of the highest turnover rates in the airline industry and in order to substantially decrease their turnover they may need to allow union representation for their staff. Their cabin crews are not getting the wages they deserve for the hard work they put in. Long flight hours, little rest time, all of this deserves better pay and proper

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