Jeannot Bile EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 13/02/2014
A MARXIST (OR RADICAL) PERSPECTIVE OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP LOCATES 'THE ASYMMETRY OF POWER BETWEEN EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE' AT THE HEART OF ITS ANALYSIS. (BLYTON AND TURNBULL, 2004: 34).
The conviction that there exists a power imbalance in the employment relationship which gives employers a prejudicial benefit over employees takes its existence for several centuries. Karl Marx known for his theories and contributions related to the employment relations field, became famous through his literatures and ever since his popularity remains.
Firstly and primarily, the lives of most men and women are subject of work. The large majority of individuals who work are simply employees only few are employers. Therefore, the terms and conditions in which individuals perform this work are crucial for everyone. These agreements are characterized by the relationship between employer and employee. Again, employee relations suggest notion of fairness and equity in the remuneration of labour. At the basic level, employee relations tend to create active group collaboration in the place of work rather than conflicts which give to employees the impression in some way to be separated from employers and organisations for which they work. Employee relations take into account many factors related to a good quality of work such as remuneration of labour, bonuses, promotions as well as the corporate culture and the work environment, training and development programs for employees. Recognizing the achievements and contributions made by the employee, this is an important part of employee relations, as the demands of the employees are more or less respected. Numerous scholars and authors have written lot of theories related to employment relationship field. Edwards defines Employee relation as "all forms of economic activity in which an employee works under the authority of an employer and receives a wage in return for his or her labour". (Edwards, 2003)
However, new approaches have emerged with the influence and recognition of trade unions in the midst of 60's and the male breadwinner mainly considered as industrial relationships. According to Blyton and Turnbull, more factors to be considered; "wages and profit, authority and compliance" ,the need of "work being a source of dignity, a 'living wage'" and "social cohesion, employee voice and participation in decision making". (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004, p.7)
In this essay, I will briefly talk about the unitary and pluralist perspectives on Employee relations. I will also discuss the applicability of the radical or Marxist perspective to the analysis of employment relations.
Early in the twenty century, before the advent of industrialization and globalization, industries and organisations operated in a context in which all the aspects related the work was largely ruled by employers and the employees had no power and no right to express their views, therefore they were submitted and had to comply with the compulsory rules and regulations on them by employers. For a very long time, the interests of employers have overcome the interests of employees. During the period of post-war, the phenomenon called globalization hardly was not existent and technology had not reached its climax, these factors have not play a predominant role in the industrial world. Employees were forced to complete the entire amount of work required which included intellectual and physical effort. In return, they had limited support from employers due to managerial styles set. By comparing the post modernization epoch and the current context of work, there has been a huge progress between relations of employees and employers. Today, a large number of factors have be taken into account, which have an impact on Employee relations such as the politico-economic system, new legislation, globalisation, technological advances, trade union, professional organisations, Training and...
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