How to Improve Industrial Relations in an Organization


In a globalized environment, where low wages abroad continue to drive down wages at home, industrial relations becomes a more vital subject than ever. Improving the means by which management and labor operate together within a specific organization is now a critical subject of discussion. Unions, once strong, have been forced to substantially scale back their activities both in response to globalized competition and increasing integration and economic rationalization at home (see Reference 2). Management must jettison its older adversarial view of organized labor if industrial relations are to progress.

  • Work to strengthen unions. What is important for management today is that the older adversarial relationship between management and labor be modernized in favor of a progressive approach that seeks to accommodate the needs of each (see Reference 2).

  • Give labor has a say in the functions of management. Workers cannot be left without power, without the ability to make a difference in the workplace. This concerns not merely the hiring and firing process, but also decision in terms of restructuring, integration, and compensation (see Reference 1).

  • Implement policies with this accommodating mentality in mind. Workers and management are both endangered by globalization, and therefore, solidarity in the face of it rather than division is essential in maintaining a good standard of living for both labor and management. Mutual accommodation and sincerity must be paramount in the implementation of company-wide policies (see Reference 1).

  • Embrace the role of the state. The state can be used as a means to accommodate the needs of both management and labor and its power can be called upon to settle disputes. In many cases, the state should be involved in the implementation of policies and used to control the power of management (see Reference 1).

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