New Public Sector Management

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GOVT 2051
Human Resources and Industrial Relations in the Public Sector

INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………... LITERATURE REVIEW ………………………………………………………………. TRADITIONAL IR SYSTEM INCLUDING DISCUSSION OF THE
TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SECTOR MODEL ………………………………………… ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS …………………………………………………………. RECOMMENDATIONS ………………………………………………………………. CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………………….

INTRODUCTION

Industrial relations is concerned with the relationship between management and workers and the role of the regulatory mechanism in resolving any industrial dispute. It covers areas such as collective bargaining, trade unions and the government. Human resource management (HRM), which has a soft approach (people friendly) and a hard approach (people as a resource to be used as seen fit by the organization), could be summarized as a strategic approach to managing employees. The role of industrial relations has been diminished to some extent in Trinidad and Tobago with the implementation of human resource management practices and policies. However some of the aspects of the traditional public sector model and the environment it was planted in has survived till now, which affects the implementation and success of new public management.

LITERATURE REVIEW
“Comparative Industrial Relations: An Introduction to Cross National Perspectives” by Bean 1994 states, Dunlops prescription of the advancement of knowledge in IR is the need to break away from the restrictive and myopic confines of problem solving, institutional studies with individual countries- what has been termed ‘ethno-centric’ bias- in favor of border comparisons over the course of time and across countries. He postulated that the systems theory was applicable to study comparative industrial relations. Haworth 1991 however states that the systems theory fails to explain how the pattern of industrial relations has developed in Third World countries. The industrial relations system responds to social political and economic change whereby actors (mainly management) usually have a number of responses they can make, therefore there is the existence of discretion in decision making which will in turn affect industrial relations. Kochan et al 1984. Zeitlin 1987 states, industrial relations can best be explained not by the social and economic structure but by historical divergences in institutional development resulting from the strategies and organizations of the state, trade unions and employers. This book basically deals with comparative industrial relations where research is done on similar phenomena taking place in different countries. Poole 1986 highlights four principles for this research to be done, 1. Focus on environmental influences coming from the societal processes and structures. 2. Multi-disciplinary perspectives incorporating social, political and economic aspects. 3. Explanatory variables as opposed to descriptive categories. 4. Utilizing the historical as well as contemporary dimension. Trade unions are institutional representatives of worker interests within the labour market and the society. It is collective rather than individual “concerted behavior is the essence of modern trade unionism”, (Ulman 1990) He also spoke of the ‘individualizing’ of industrial relations into human resource management. Industrial Relations and Globalization: Challenges for Employers and their Organizations”, a document prepared by David Macdonald (1997) states that during the period of the 1990’s there were new demands of international competition and dramatic advances in technology. Globalization had also changed the nature and operation of the ‘market place’ and production in many countries across the world. Considerable demands were placed on employers and enterprises thus new structures, processes and strategies were required to be implemented. Within the enterprise, industrial Relations (IR) plays a very strategic role...
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