Impact of NPM and HR on Traditional Industrial Relations Systems
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Traditional Industrial Relations System
Traditional Public Sector Model
Analysis and Findings
In many Commonwealth Caribbean Countries since the early 1960’s, there have been attempts at Public Sector Reform by replacing the traditional system of Public Administration with what is commonly known as New Public Management and to this day, the successful implementation of such structural adjustment attempts have evaded most Governments who have dared to try. It was evident, however, that there were differences in the way each country attempted to introduce NPM. Jamaica and Barbados, for example, adhered rigorously to the primary tenets of NPM and Trinidad and Tobago by implementing some measures but not others. Human resource management (HRM) is a term which is now widely used but very loosely defined. It should be defined in such a way as to differentiate it from traditional personnel management and to allow the development of testable hypotheses about its impact. Based on theoretical work in the field of organizational behaviour it is proposed that HRM comprises a set of policies designed to maximize organizational integration, employee commitment, flexibility and quality of work. Within this model, collective industrial relations have, at best, only a minor role. Despite the apparent attractions of HRM to managements, there is very little evidence of any quality about its impact or that of New Public Management. However, the purpose of this paper is to review and analyze some of the different approaches to Human Resource Management, New Public Management and Industrial Relations initiatives used in Trinidad and Tobago and the extent to which the introduction of a “new” model of management in the public sector has led to a realignment in the roles, responsibilities, and relationships between the policy-makers, the bureaucracy, civil society and Trade Unions in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, mentioning the work of two (2) well accomplished local minds who have contributed to the study of Public Sector Reform and Industrial Relations. Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations (HRIR) is a multidisciplinary area that investigates all aspects of employment relations in the public and private sector. Modern organisations increasingly regard staff as their most valuable asset and a chief source of competitive advantage. Consequently, they attach great importance to how they manage people. Successful management of employment relations is vital if employees are to be motivated and organisations are to be successful. The Human resource management (HRM) side encompasses the governance of an organization’s employees and is sometimes referred to simply as human resources (HR). It is the people who work for the organization and human resource management is really employee management with an emphasis on those employees as assets of the business. Areas of HRM oversight include employee recruitment and retention, exit interviews, motivation, assignment selection, labor law compliance, performance reviews, training, professional development, mediation, change management and some extent of Industrial Relations. Industrial relations, which is sometimes called labour-management relations is a professional area of activity and is multidisciplinary, drawing from several academic areas such as law, economics, psychology, sociology and organizational theory. The field of Industrial relations also similarly encompasses the relationships between employers and employees, between employees and other employees, between employers and their unions and advisors, between employees and their unions, between workplaces in the labour market,...
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