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Comparison between unitary and pluralist perspectives.

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HNC IN BUSINESS PERSONNEL MODULE EMPLOYEE RELATIONS ASSIGNMENT 1 ORGANISATIONAL REVIEW Gillian Crosthwaite List of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Comparison between unitary and pluralist perspectives 3. The pluralist perspective with the Fire Service at the present time 4. The role and development of Trade Unions 5. Present industrial relations within the Fire Service 6. The role and contributions of the FBU 7. Conclusion Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Bibliography 1. Introduction This report evaluates the unitary and pluralistic employment relationship perspectives in respect of the Fire Service. An assessment of the development of trade unionism and how membership of trade unions may be increased. The nature of industrial relations in the Fire Service at the present time is detailed with issues such as the pay increase, health and safety and modernisation. There is also an investigation of the role and contribution that the Fire Brigades Union make to effective industrial relations. 2. Comparison between unitary and pluralist perspectives within the workplace There are two different approaches within an employment relationship, the unitary perspective and the pluralist perspective. The unitary perspective believes all members of the organisation should come together as one, i.e. be united. The members should all share common goals, aims and objectives for the company to be successful. Positions are organised into a hierarchy of authority resulting in a chain of command. The management, who are the authority, should win the respect and loyalty of all the members. Members should know their place within the hierarchy and not step out of place. The unitary perspective in the workplace discourages any form of conflict, i.e. the development of trade unions or any factions. The management feel that this sort of development would lead to destruction and weakness within the company, which would be disruptive and unnecessary. ...read more.


5. Some unions are now offering their services to companies by agreeing to deal with those issues not in an adversarial manner but in a spirit of consensus. As Robert Taylor, Future of Employment Relations wrote 'Are trade unions in danger of becoming only repositories of memories?' To reverse this decline trade unions need to be modernised or re-branded. An 'ordinary member' needs to be defined, as presently people are now better educated, more aware of issues and from different ethnic backgrounds. Surveys, research and advertising campaigns could be carried out to find out potential members needs. These needs then need to be reflected in the services offered by the trade unions, whilst keeping the existing members happy. An example of a service that could be offered to entice the younger generation is incentives for joining e.g. discounts in popular high street stores. Certain implications could also be applied with regard to joining a union for representation e.g. you need to be a member for at least 30 days before and representation is given. They need to update their image and be proactive in the workplace. The TUC however recently verified its first increase and stated that trade unions are more popular than ever. The TUC is also now providing a new web site to provide help and information on workplace issues for non-union members (www.worksmart.org.uk). The site includes a complete guide to employment rights and the UKs' first ever union finder which helps prospective members find the right union to join. The TUC's General Secretary, John Monks, said 'This is a major new initiative by the TUC to reach out to Britain's non-union workplaces'. ...read more.


However I think an agreement must be reached sooner rather than later as the alarming threat of war becomes ever increasing. If our soldiers were called to war and further strikes occurred, would there be enough soldiers left to man the Green Goddesses? Would the fire fighters use this to their advantage as leverage to get their pay increase? How would the public and the Government react to this 'blackmail' if it were to happen? Appendix 1 'Coming to a New Awareness of Organisational Culture' Sloan Management Review 1984. E H Schein Schein describes two very different organisations: Organisation A operates on the assumption that: * ideas come ultimately from individuals * people are responsible, motivated and capable of governing themselves * nevertheless, in practice, truth can only be arrived at by fighting things out in groups * such fighting is possible because members of the organisation see themselves as a family who will take care of each other It is therefore safe to fight and be competitive. Organisation B operates on the assumption that: * truth comes ultimately from older, wider and higher-status members * people are capable of loyalty and discipline in carrying out directions * relationships are basically lineal and vertical * each person has a niche in the organisation that cannot be invaded * the organisation is responsible for taking care of its members. In organisation A there are open office landscapes, few closed doors, people milling about, intense conversations and arguments and a general air of informality. In organisation B there is a hush in the air. Everyone is in an office with closed doors, nothing is done except by appointment and prearranged agenda. When people of different ranks are present there is real difference and obedience. An air of formality permeates everything. Neither is wrong ~ they are just different. ...read more.

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