Is the book Labour Relations in the Global Fast Food Industry (Royle & Towers 2002) and its key findings the product of the authors’ ideological frame of reference? Or is it the product of genuine, objective research? Introduction
Employment relations is the study of all aspect of work and the interaction between the management and the employees or the employee’s representative such as the Union (Ackers and Wilkinson, 2005). The underlying beliefs of employment or labour relations are often implicit with the long established focus on how employment processes are conducted, or sometimes are being ignored. In this write up, we will be discussing on the book, Labour Relations in the Global Fast Food Industry (Royle and Towers 2002) and its key findings of the authors’ ideological frame of reference. A frame of reference refers to a person’s perspective on the world. It includes the person’s assumptions, values, beliefs and convictions and the way it was understood on why things are and why they happen in a particular way. It is also a tool to of evaluate a person’s perception and thinking in a particular way towards employment or labour relations. From the key findings in this book, it showed that the management were adopting a unitarist ideaological frame of reference. Unitarist ideological frame of reference refers to an organisation which accommodates their employees with a common purpose and shared goal for the success of the organisation. It is hence based on mutual co-operation. The government and unions is their unwelcomed party as they tend to interfere their harmonious workplace relation and compete for employee’s loyalty to the organisation. Management also tends to be more autocratic. However, from the authors’ point of view and understanding stated in this book, it showed that the authors have adopted a pluralist ideological frame of reference. Plurarist ideological frame of reference refers to a process of competition, bargaining, compromising between many legitimate groups. It is also in another word, being an opposition to the organisation. From this book, we can say that the key findings on the plight of the employees in the global fast-food industry are the product of the authors’ ideological frame of reference and not from the product of their genuine, objective research. Reduce Cost
The fast-food industry was introduced with a promise to provide low priced food. Therefore, their profits would depend on reducing their labour and operating cost at all time. Low labour cost can be achieved by hiring youngsters, unemployed adults and the mature or retirees. (Leidner, 2002) For countries such as United States and Germany, they are more likely to select young, teenagers and part-time employees with little or no working experiences and no knowledge of trade unions (Leidner, 2002). Youngsters are usually active and earning their first experience, therefore it would be a perfect choice for the organisation to hire them due to low pay and long working hours. However these young, inexperienced people would not see this career as their long-term career, hence there will be frequent high turnover due to dissatisfaction, long working hours, low wages and no proper benefits. Both countries use hard HRM as their main goal is production and reduce cost, and not the welfare of the employees. As the management is achieving their goals, it is an evident that the organisation adopted a unitarist ideological frame of reference. This clearly shows that the authors did not use a genuine objective research and used their ideological frame of reference. The authors did not state the positive side about the organisation adopting a unitarist ideological frame of reference such as the goal to reduce their cost. In Singapore at the other hand, management targets at both youngsters or school leavers and mature workforce and retirees (A.Perira, 2002) due to their lack of employment opportunities and ageing population in Singapore...
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