Management and Union Relationships in an Organization

Topics: Trade union, Collective bargaining, Employment Pages: 6 (1720 words) Published: May 3, 2011
Management and Union Relationships in an Organization

In today’s business environment, the relationship between management and union can play a vital role in the success of an organization. My research of the roles of unions and management will enable me to present concrete information of how these two entities perform in an organization.

The Role of Management in an Organization

“Management is the process of working with people and resources to accomplish organizational goals” (Bateman & Snell, 2007). In an organization, management has the responsibility of performing four major functions. These functions consist of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. According to (Carter McNamara, n.d.), “As planners, management identifies goals, objectives, methods, resources needed to carry out methods, as well as, responsibilities and dates for completion of tasks. As organizers, management organizes resources needed to achieve the goals in an optimum fashion. Examples are organizing new departments, human resources, office and file systems, re-organizing businesses, etc. As leaders¸ management set direction for the organization, groups and individuals and influence people to follow that direction. Examples are establishing strategic direction (vision, values, mission and / or goals) and championing methods of organizational performance management to pursue that direction, and as controllers, management coordinates the organization's systems, processes and structures to reach effectively and efficiently reach goals and objectives. This includes ongoing collection of feedback, and monitoring and adjustment of systems, processes and structures accordingly. Examples include use of financial controls, policies and procedures, performance management processes, measures to avoid risks etc” (Free Management Library, n.d.).

The Role of Unions in an Organization

Unions are associations that represent the collective interests of their employee-members in bargaining and negotiating with organizations. Trade unions generally seek to obtain higher wages, reduced working hours, and improved working conditions for employees. The also seek to improve workplace safety and obtain increased benefits, such as health insurance, pensions, and disability insurance, for employees. Unions work to protect the employment security of their members by negotiating the implementation of seniority rules and to eliminate "at-will" employment contracts which has subjected non-union employees to dismissal without cause. Although trade unions did not obtain legal recognition until the 1930s, laborers began organizing to bargain collectively with employers long before obtaining such recognition (, 2011). Unions also help the organization by supporting the productivity of the workers. According to (, 2008), “They help in organizing training workshops so as to enhance their workers’ skills at the workplace. Also, they hold forums to sensitize workers on changes going on in the market as well as educate them on pertinent matters that would benefit them in general. Further support, which may differ, may be given at personal levels. A member might get legal representation in case of litigation where an employer is involved.” Unions when conflict arises between employees and employers conduct meetings and hold talks with relevant policy and decision makers. This ensures quality talks from both sides and decisions of resolve that benefit the employer as well as employee.

The Management and Union Relationship

In today’s business environment, labor and management relations have been put on hold while organizational changes and transformations take place. There are some who believe that labor-management relations are a relic of an era when rising standards of living and stable markets seemed to be predictable. According to the text (Creative union-management relations, 1995), “Discounting the importance of...
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