Conflict Management

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Introduction
Before I start my postgraduate study, I just know few about Human Resource Management. I thought its main task is to deal with the relationship inside a company. To be specific, as Bakhare(2010) said Human Resource Department(HRM) focuses on keeping the efficiency, fairness, productivity inside and outside of the organization. My first professional course about HRM is conflict management. This arouses my interest of exploring the connection between HRM and conflict management. Previously, I thought that conflict is another word of war that more than two people have fight. This is due to the inaccurate translation from English to Chinese. Through my friend’s explanation, I knew more about conflict. Bakhare(2010) explained that “conflict is a natural disagreement resulting from individuals or groups that differ in attitudes, beliefs, values or needs.” The concept of conflict can help explain many aspects of social life, such as social divergence, conflict of interest and the fight between persons, teams or organizations. No one likes conflict, but conflict occurs everywhere inside people and teams. It is necessary to point out that conflict is not always bad. On one hand, it can expose the problems inside the organizations and encourage public discussion. On the other hand, conflict instills energy into the enterprise and stimulates benign competition. Through the preview, I have a fundamental understanding of conflict management. Bakhare(2010) states that “conflict management is the practice of recognizing and dealing with disputes in a rational, balanced and effective way.”

After learning the basic knowledge of Human Resource Management and conflict management, I was so looking forward to this module. I hope this class not only guides me to handle the conflict in my daily life, but also enlighten me about my future work. In the next part, I will talk about what I have learned each day and from my additional reading. At last ending with a summary where I reflect on the whole process.

Day One
Today in our lecture, Jason has talked about Human Resource Management, Conflict and Industrial Relations. For me, the meaningful aspect that I have learned from this week is that Trade Unions have provided significant support to employees at organizations in the period from 1960 to 1980. Trade unions are formed by employees who help to protect and promote their members interest through collective bargaining(Machin and Wood, 2005). Flavin, Pacek and Radcliff (2010)pointed out that “Trade Unions not only emphasize the human aspect of the labor commodity, but in imposing a check on the exercise of power both express and foster democratic values and culture”. Membership of a trade union developed their life satisfaction, especially the well-being of citizens with lower incomes, and stimulates the electoral and political participation. However, I found that the membership of trade union in Britain declined so fast in the twentieth century, particularly after World War II. According to the government’s annual report on union membership published by the Department of Trade and Industry, the trade union density in UK was decreased from 58% in 1980 to 50% in 1985 (Disney,1990). Why trade union density declined? After reading some additional articles, I found some reasons to answer this question. Turner and D’Art(2008) said “long-term socioeconomic changes in industrial societies such as the transformations from manufacturing to service employment, manual to mental work and an increasingly economy globalization are proposed as the explanations for the decline of trade unions”. Moreover, the trade union can undertake its bargaining power such as banning overtime and strike which can be costly and damaging to both sides. The government realized this and formulates some relevant legislation to ensure employees’ lawful rights and interests. For example, some laws have been passes by the state to change the type of payment...
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