Employee Relations - Case Study Analysis

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This essay will explore three case studies: Outsourcing in electricity generation, The non-unionised company and Cost minimisation and the flexible workforce.

With reference to the first case study, Outsourcing in electricity generation, this essay will identify where management has used specific human relations techniques to develop their outsourcing strategy, show evidence that management adopted a HRM approach to downsizing and outsourcing, explore whether the approach was hard or soft HRM and discuss strategies various unions adopted and if they were effective. See Appendix I for Case Study: Outsourcing in electricity generation.

The second case study, The non-unionised company, will then explore why Teiberg employees remained non-union since 1985, what motivates employees to join a union, discuss the appropriateness of the ER policies followed by Teiberg, assess the role of the Managing Director and provide advice to the AMWU organiser on the strategy he should follow at Teiberg. See Appendix II for Case Study: The non-unionised company.

Lastly the case study, Cost minimisation and the flexible workforce, this essay will identify types of flexible patterns of work within Hotel Quay, discuss if these patterns of work are being used in a strategic way and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of flexible work at Hotel Quay from the management and employee perspectives. See Appendix III for Case Study: Cost minimisation and the flexible workforce.

Outsourcing in electricity generation
According to Kakabadse and Kakabadase (2000) the impact of outsourcing and downsizing depends on how it has been planned, how it has been communicated to employees and how effectively it has been implemented within the organisation. To diminish the negative issues associated with downsizing organisations are increasingly adopting a HRM approach by offering outsourcing deals such as: the transfer of staff to service providers, attractive redundancy packages or redeployment (Kakabadse and Kakabadase, 2000).

The SECV provided employees with outsourcing/downsizing deals and upon the second attempt to outsource it communicated extensively with employees. Whether a plan and a strategy was implemented the case study does not mention, although we can draw from the above analysis management used specific human relations techniques to develop their outsourcing strategy and adopted a HRM approach to the downsizing and outsourcing of SECV.

According to Kaye (1999) the hard model of HRM emphasises the quantitative, calculative and strategic approach and views HR as an expense of doing business which needs to be thoroughly measured and monitored. Due to the unpredictable cost of HR to the organisation hard HRM focuses on reducing labour costs and increasing efficiency (Teicher, Holland and Gough, 2002). It is apparent the SECV adopted a hard approach to HRM in which employees were seen as a cost and not as a resource to the organisation. Therefore the organisation rapidly downsizing and outsourcing many of it core functions

The various unions predominately adopted a strategy of collective bargaining or joint negation, this entails various forms of industrial action to exhibit strength, enforce agreements and make added gains (Petzall, Timo & Abbott, 2000). It is apparent this strategy was not effective as SECV reached an agreement with one union, the AMWU, because it was perceived as the key union. The strategies were not effective due to internal divisions over coverage and membership and occasionally collusion with management which was to the detriment of other unions.

The non-unionised company
Dundon, Wilkinson, Marchington, & Ackers (2005) describe a non-unionised organisation as a situation where management do not do business with a trade union that collectively represents the interests of employees.

Deery, Walsh & Knox (2001) highlight the non-union organisation has become an increasingly important event in...
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