ACTORS IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: COMPETITORS, COLLABORATORS OR COMPATRIOTS?

Topics: Trade union, Industrial relations, Labour relations Pages: 11 (2662 words) Published: November 18, 2014
ijcrb.webs.com

APRIL 2013

INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS

VOL 4, NO 12

ACTORS IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: COMPETITORS,
COLLABORATORS OR COMPATRIOTS?
OYELEKAN AYANTUNJI
Department of Industrial Relations and Public Administration Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos

MOJIRADE M. AYANTUNJI
Department of Adult Education
University of Ibadan
Ibadan, Nigeria.

Abstract
This paper discussed three major alternative strategies in labour management relations especially in the British model of industrial relations. These options are competition, collaboration and compatriotism. The paper discussed three major perspectives as theories of industrial relations as well as the actors and the environment of industrial relations. The paper concluded that, at least, three major factors may influence the choice of strategy for labour management relations in the British system of industrial relations. These factors are (i) the prevailing social-political and economic environment (ii) the theory or perspective of industrial relations subscribed to by the actors in the industrial relations system and (iii) the personality of the actors in the industrial relations system.

Keywords: Industrial Relations, the Industrial Relations System, Industrial Relations Theories, Actors in Industrial Relations, the Industrial Relations Environment.

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APRIL 2013

INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS

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Introduction
There are many models of industrial relations. Notable among these is the British model. In the British model of industrial relations, there are three principal actors. These are: (i) the workers and their trade unions,

(ii) the employers and their associations, and,
(iii)the government and its agencies.
The role of the workers and their trade unions is the supply of the skills necessary for the production of goods and services while the role of the employers is the provision of the raw materials including human resources and finance for the production of goods and services. The role of the government and its agencies is the provision of an enabling environment for the production of goods and services. Each of these actors performs its functions with the expectation of certain rewards for their services. For instance, the workers and their trade unions expect bountiful salaries and other favourable conditions of employment in return for their services while the employers and their associations expect good profits and other pecuniary in return for their investments in raw materials and other resources supplied by them for the production of goods and services. The government and its agencies expect tax and orderliness in return for their services in providing the enabling environment for the production of goods and services in organisations. A critical look into scenario just painted would reveal a context of competition no matter how subtle. There are some contexts and models of industrial relations which are not as overtly competitive as revealed above. The British system, as painted above, no doubt, is competitive and that is the system practised in Nigeria and some other countries of the world.

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Theories of Industrial Relations
Arguments are germane that industrial relations being a multidisciplinary and a relatively young field is not matured yet to have theories which are exclusive to it. The opinions of these writers which match those of Flanders (1975) are that:

Even if the subject (industrial relations) is regarded as no more than a field of study to be cultivated with the well-tested methods of other disciplines, its development must depend on the mutual...

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