HR Practice and the Employment Relationship (HRM and a changing…
HR Practice and the Employment Relationship
HRM and a changing organisational context
Increased the significance of workforce - that need to be exploited to promote organisational adaptability and innovation
Compelling push for managers to cut costs
Movement from collectivism to individualism
Decline in trade union membership, representation and collective bargaining
Implement more flexible, individualised arrangements
Individualised HRM practices - changing the employment relationship
What is the employment relationship?
Employment relationship is simply the exchange of labour hours for reward of some sort.
Based on exchange of job security in return for loyalty and commitment
Types of labour that can be purchased.
Physical or mental
Unitarist vs Pluralist Perspectives on the employment relationship
Where the organisation is perceived as families or teams.
Any conflict or dissent is seen as deviant/disruptive behaviour
Underpins both authoritarian and paternalistic approaches to people management
The viewpoint that organisations are made up of various interest groups, most notably managers and workers
Therefore, conflict is inevitable and natural to the workplace
Emphasis is placed on negotiated decision making e.g. employee's voice
Power in the employment relationship
under unitarism power should reside in the hands of the senior management
in pluralism power is more evenly distributed and it can shift from one group to another depending on the situation
The psychological contract
Employers and employees have an understanding about the nature of the employment that goes beyond what is written or implied in the employment contract
This links to employee engagement as they employees are offering something that can't be required in the contract of employment
Brief History of People Management
changing assumption about workers are controlled and motivated.
Early capitalism had a workforce that was ill disciplined
People management was conceived upon the principles of coercion and punishment
Neo Human Relations
(Herzberg , 1966)
Two types of characteristics that would improve motivation or satisfaction
the fulfillment of symbolic and psychological needs. (e.g. recognition of achievement).
are required for high productivity or motivation (e.g. pay and working conditions). Can act as dissatisfiers when absent
Theory X and Theory Y
Assumptions made about McGregor 1960 about people at work
- people have an inherent dislike to work and coercion is necessary for compliance. They have limited ambition
- People respond better to self control and exercise self-discipline at work.
Interest grew in late 1970s/ early 1980s
Strong emphasis on teamwork, commitment and encouraging high performance
Recognition that motivation is higher when people manage themselves
Components of Individual Workplace
Implicit in the evolution of people management is how worker performance can be improved.
Boxall and Purcell (2003) suggest that individual performance (P) is a function of ability (A) motivation (M) and opportunity (O)
P = f (AMO)
Best Practice HRM
All firms will see better performance if best practice is implemented
Pfeffer's best practices
High pay contingent on company performance
Reduction of status differences
High and low commitment strategies
Involve the employer seeking a much closer relationship with workers .
Workers become emotionally or psychologically involved with the enterprise.
Employers more likely to offer employees opportunities for personal and career development
Leans towards hire and fire style, in which labour is employed at the point of need.
Employees often need very little training, with employment being terminated when they have completed their tasks.
The relationship is often distant and are often kept at arms length