Industrial Relations Practices

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This chapter seeks to review the thoughts of other experts on industrial relations practices in state owned organisations. The purpose is to have a reference in terms of what others believe and perceive in relation to industrial relation and its practices in state owned organizations using Ghana as a case study. State-Business Relations and Economic Performance in Ghana by Charles Ackah, Ernest Aryeetey, Joseph Ayee & Ezekiel Clottey In their executive summary, Charles Ackah, Ernest Aryeetey, Joseph Ayee & Ezekiel Clottey, talked about the fact that relationship between the state and business community in Ghana had varied since independence. Though each government has had distinct relations with business and private sectors, civilian governments have generally promoted and enjoyed good rapport with the business community while military governments especially in the 1980s have tended to have confrontations with the private sector. Their study used a multi-disciplinary approach that included both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the disciplines of political science, economics, history, sociology and organizational management. They were seeking to understand what constitutes effective state-business relations, and to assess how state-business relations are related to economic performance, their study relied on historical institutionalist inductive theories- comparative historical analysis and path-dependence, among others. For their analysis, their study relied on both primary data, from interviews with selected formal and informal enterprises and regulatory agencies within Ghana, and their secondary data were derived from a review of statutory literature such as the Constitution of Ghana, Acts of Parliament, Statutes, Codes, Contracts, rules and procedures and conventions establishing institutions. Their purpose was to examine the characteristics of formal and informal rules and regulations governing the establishment and operation of foreign and indigenous businesses, how these have evolved over time and how they may have impacted economic performance. For their quantitative economic analysis, their study used a panel of 256 Ghanaian manufacturing firms over the period 1991-2002 to analyze the extent to which an effective state-business relationship is beneficial to economic performance. Focusing on total factor productivity, they found out that an effective State Business Relations (SBR) or a sound investment climate correlates positively with better firm performance, possibly channeled via a more optimal allocation of resources in the economy. Concerning the effect of the investment climate indicators, their results showed that an ‘unfriendly’ investment climate illustrated through firms’ perceptions about economic and regulatory policy uncertainty affecting their operations and growth are negatively correlated with productivity. With regards to the SBR measures, they found that social networks as indicated through the extent to which firms or their managers have close contacts within the government or bureaucracy had a statistically positive correlation with firm performance. Their results indicated that being well connected with those who make and implement government policy increases the chances of being able to lobby to overcome some of the difficulties confronting normal business enterprises, such as the number of procedures it takes to obtain licenses and permits and the number of days it takes to clear imported goods from the port. Narrative analysis of state agencies and Private Enterprises Foundation’s perceptions of SBRs in Ghana from 1992 to 2008 which also coincides and extends beyond the period of econometric analysis of SBRs on firm performance confirms the results discussed above. Both state and BAs agree on a shift from a predominantly ad hoc and informal clientelistic relationship to a more formal and synergistic SBRs in Ghana since 1992. Formal and regularized meetings between state agencies and...
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