COnflict at Riverside

1449 Words Nov 20th, 2013 6 Pages
Conflict at Riverside
The conflict between organisational management and trade unions has existed now for many years.
Whilst the objectives of trades union have traditionally been to maintain and improve the conditions of their worker members, this has more often than not, manifested itself in a conflict and struggle with the “political systems” adopted by the hierarchy of company management. This is certainly evident in the conflict at Riverside. What adds another dimension to the situation is the family connection that exists between Steve and Rod.
In Images of Organisation, Morgan, in analysing organisational politics, discusses the relationship that exists between “one’s job tasks, career aspirations and extramural interests”.
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A view of the situation through the concept of “psychic prisons” can certainly enlighten us as to what might be going on.
In The Republic, Plato talks about chained cave dwellers watching shadows projected on the wall and listening to sounds from outside the cave. (Plato, 1941) This famous allegory can be clearly seen in the relationship between the workers, the company management and the union who represents them. The workers equate the shadows and the sounds with reality, the reality as presented to them by the unions who represent them. The workers are effectively chained to the unions, who they rely entirely on, to secure the most favourable environment for them to work in. The cave is that environment. The major redesign of production operations represents the outside world. The unions fear the day one of the workers experiences the world outside. If they do, will they ever return to the cave? The unions have convinced the workers, that their way is the only way forward. What if the workers realise there is a better way? What if they return to the cave preaching the virtues of the new production redesign? Not only will the unions lose control of this factory, but perhaps all the other factories being proposed for this redesign. Perhaps the workers will turn on the unions, deciding that they were more concerned with their own interests
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