People and Organisations

Topics: Management, Employment, Organization Pages: 13 (3381 words) Published: November 15, 2014


Word Count: 2987

‘The employment relationship has fundamentally changed in the last quarter-century, thus creating significant challenges for managers in today’s organisations’

Critically analyse the validity of this statement. In your answer refer to issues/theory discussed in class.

Introduction
The employment relationship is a complex and compelling area of study which involves "the interaction of employers, employees, trade unions and the government on a regular basis". (Gunnigle et al 2011). This paper aims to explore the employment relationship over the last quarter century and illustrate the contributing factors to how this relationship has changed over this time period. Similar to an analysis on the employment relationship by René Schalk in 2004, this paper will look at this relationship from three different perspectives: societal developments, organisational changes and individual expectations.

While one might think the only parties directly involved in the employment relationship are the employer and the employee, it is important to look at society as a whole and the events that impact societal behaviours and attitudes to fully understand this relationship. (Schalk 2004) By looking at these three separate perspectives, it allows one to get a "holistic" understanding of the employment relationship and a more educated view in appreciating how and why this relationship changes. While looking at these separate perspectives, this paper will address a number of the issues central to the employment relationship as outlined in Gunnigle's et al's 2011 text "Human Resource Management in Ireland" i.e. collective bargaining and employee involvement.

In addition to this structure this paper will reference a number of key events that have happened over this time period such as the digital/technological revolution and the recent financial crisis. These events have impacted the attitudes and behaviours of organisations, employees, and society as a whole and hence, have changed the employment relationship to the one we see today. While outlining some of the contributing factors to the changes in the employment relationship, this paper will investigate as to how these changes have created significant challenges for managers in today's organisation.

Societal Developments
A number of key events over the last 25 years have fundamentally changed the working world and the employment relationship. None more so than the digital/technological revolution that has seen the creation of e-mail, the internet and smart phones. In a recent book published by Brynjolfsson and McAfee (2011), it has been suggested that the effectiveness of computers has increased 43m fold between 1988 and 2008. These advancements have led to the growth and expansion of massive multinational technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, who have all moved away from traditional employment methods. These changes have impacted the employment relationship in a number of different ways and as a result, have created a number of managerial challenges.

With the development of the digital revolution and the advancement of multinational technology companies, there has been a move away from the traditional model of development through industrialisation. (Gunnigle et al 2011). This shift in the labour market has seen an increase in the number of jobs that are not governed by traditional labour laws as in the past (Schalk 2004). The rapid expansion of these multinational tech companies has also seen a change in human resource management practices that has led to a decline in trade union membership over this time period. (Gunnigle et al 2011). This trend comes as a result of these companies preferring to handle employee issues "in-house" and can be seen in all westernised countries including Ireland, where trade union membership has dropped from 37% to 24% between 2003 and 2011. (Walsh et al 2009)....


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