IRLL Handout # 1.pdf

IRLL Handout # 1 Introduction to Industrial Relations Concept of Industrial Relations: The term „Industrial Relations‟ comprises of two terms: „Industry‟ and „Relations‟. “Industry” refers to “any productive activity in which an individual or a group of individual(s) is (are) engaged”. By “relations” we mean “the relationships that exist within the industry between the employer and his workmen.” The term industrial relations explains the
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  IRLL Handout # 1 Introduction to Industrial Relations Concept of Industrial Relations: The term „Industrial Relations‟ comprises of two terms: „Industry‟ and „Relations‟. “Industry” refers to “any productive activity in which an individual or a group o f individual(s) is (are) engaged”. By “relations” we mean “the relationships that exist within the industry between the employer and his workmen.” The term industrial relations explains the relationship between employees and management which stem directly or indirectly from union-employer relationship. Definition :- “The concept of Industrial Relations had been extended to mean and denote the relations of the state with employers, employees and the organizations. The subject includes individual relations and joint consultation between employers and people at their workplace; collective relations between employers and their organizations and trade unions and the part played by the state in regulating these relations.” Encyclopedia Britannica Industrial relations are the relationships between employees and employers within the organizational settings. The field of industrial relations looks at the relationship between management and workers, particularly groups of workers represented by a union. Industrial relations are basically the interactions between employers, employees and the government, and the institutions and associations through which such interactions are mediated. The term industrial relations has a broad as well as a narrow outlook. Originally, industrial relations was broadly defined to include the relationships and interactions  between employers and employees. From this perspective, industrial relations covers all aspects of the employment relationship, including human resource management, employee relations, and union-management (or labor) relations. Now its meaning has  become more specific and restricted. Accordingly, industrial relations pertains to the study and practice of collective bargaining, trade unionism, and labor-management relations, while human resource management is a separate, largely distinct field that deals with nonunion employment relationships and the personnel practices and policies of employers. The relationships which arise at and out of the workplace generally include the relationships between individual workers, the relationships between workers and their employer, the relationships between employers, the relationships employers and workers have with the organizations formed to promote their respective interests, and the relations  between those organizations, at all levels. Industrial relations also includes the processes through which these relationships are expressed (such as, collective bargaining, workers‟   participation in decision-making, and grievance and dispute settlement), and the management of conflict between employers, workers and trade unions, when it arises. The Industrial Relations are also called as labor - management, employee-employers relations. A few notable features  pertaining to Industrial Relations are as under: 1.   Emerge out of employment relationship in an industrial setting. Without the existence of the two parties, i.e. labor and management, this relationship cannot exist. It is the industry, which provides the environment for industrial relations. 2.   Industrial Relations are characterized by both conflict and co-operation. This is the basis of adverse relationship. So the focus of Industrial Relations in on the study of the attitudes, relationships, practices and procedure developed by the contending parties to resolve or at least minimize conflicts. 3.   As the labor and management do not operate in isolation but are parts of large system, so the study of Industrial Relation also includes vital environment issues like technology of the workplace, c ountry‟s socio -economic and political environment, nation‟s labor policy, attitude of trade unions workers and employers. 4.   Also involves the study of conditions conducive to the labor, management co-operation as well as the practices and procedures required to elicit the desired co-operation from both the parties. 5.   Also studies the laws, rules, regulations, agreements, awards of courts, customs and traditions, as well as policy framework laid down by the governments for eliciting co-operations between labor and management. Besides this, it makes an in-depth analysis of the interference patterns of the executive and judiciary in the regulations of labor   –  managements relations. In fact, IR encompasses all such factors that influence behavior of people at work. A few such important factors are details below: 1. Institution : It includes government, employers, trade unions, unions federations or associations, government bodies, labor courts, tribunals and other organizations which have direct or indirect impact on the industrial relations systems. 2. Characters   : It aims to study the role of workers‟ union and employers‟ federations, industrial relations officers / manager, mediator / conciliators / arbitrator, judges of labor court, tribunal etc. 3. Methods  : Focus on collective bargaining, workers‟ participation, discipline  procedure, grievance redressal machinery, dispute settlements machinery, unions, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, hearing of labor courts, tribunals etc.   4. Contents  : Includes matter pertaining to employment conditions like pay, hours of works, leave with wages, health, and safety disciplinary actions, lay-off, dismissals retirements etc., laws relating to such activities, regulations governing labor welfare, social security, indu strial relations, issues concerning with workers‟ participation in management, collective bargaining, etc. Difference between industrial relations and human relations: The term “  Industrial Relations ” is different from “  Human Relations ”.   Industrial relations refer to the relations between the employees and the employer in an industry. Human relations refer to a personnel-management policy to be adopted in industrial organizations to develop a sense of belongingness in the workers, improve their efficiency and treat them as human beings and make them a partner in industry. Industrial relations cover the matters regulated by law or by collective agreement  between employees and employers. On the other hand, problems of human relations are  personal in character and are related to the behavior of worker where morale and social elements predominate. Human relations approach is personnel philosophy which can be applied by the management of an undertaking. The problem of industrial relations is usually dealt with at three levels  –   the level of enterprise, the industry and at the national level. Thus, the term “Industrial Relations” is more wide and comprehensive and the term “Human Relations” is a part of it.   Parties to the IR system: Three main parties are directly involved in industrial relations:  Employers and their organizations :  Employers possess certain rights vis-à-vis employees (workers). They have the right to hire and fire them. Management can also affect workers‟ interests by exercising their right to  relocate, close or merge the factory or to introduce technological changes. The employers‟ organizations are voluntary  bureaucratic institutions. Workers and their organizations:  Workers seek to improve the terms and conditions of their employment. They exchange views with management and voice their grievances. They also want to share decision making powers of management. Workers generally unite to form unions against the management and get support from these unions. These are mainly political institutions, associations of employees formed and maintained for the specific purpose of wresting concessions from employers. Government:  The central and state government influences and regulates industrial relations through laws, rules, agreements, awards of court and the like. It also includes third parties and labor and tribunal courts.    Scope: The concept of industrial relations has a very wide meaning and connotation. In the narrow sense, it means that the employer, employee relationship confines itself to the relationship that emerges out of the day to day association of the management and the labor. In its wider sense, industrial relations include the relationship between an employee and an employer in the course of the running of an industry and may project it to spheres, which may overlap the areas of quality control, marketing, price fixation and disposition of profits among others. Factors affecting Industrial Relations The factors affecting industrial relations system of an organization are : (1)    Institutional factors : Include factors like state policy, labour laws, collective  bargaining agreements, employers organizations / federations, etc. (2)    Economic factors : Include factors like type of ownership, individual, company  –   whether domestic or MNC, government, etc., source of labour supply, level of unemployment, etc.  (3)   Social Factors : Include factors like social values, norms, social status (high or low) (4)   Technological factors : Include factors like work methods, type of technology used, rate of technological change, R&D activities, etc. These factors directly influence employment status, wage level, collective bargaining process in an organization.  (5)    Psychological factors : Include factors such as owners‟ attitude perception of workforce, motivation, morale, interest, dissatisfaction of workers, worker attitude towards work. These factors affect workers‟ job and personal life that directly or indirectly influences industrial relations systems.  (6)    Political factors : Include factors such as political institutions, system of government, attitude of government. Most of the trade unions are controlled by
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