Conflict in Employment Relationship with Reference to the Unitarist, Pluralist and Marxist Perspective

2254 Words Dec 30th, 2009 10 Pages
The aim of this assay is to discuss the statement---'Conflict is inherent within the employment relationship' with reference to the Unitarist, Pluralist and Marxist perspective. Firstly, I will give the definitions of employment relations, industrial conflict the three main conflict frames of reference in employment relations. Then I will explain the conflict in the three perspectives individually. Lastly, I will make a simple comparison about the three perspectives.

Dunlop states that the industrial relations system is seen to be 'comprised of certain actors, certain contexts and ideology which bind the industrial relations system together and a body of rules created to govern the actors at the workplace (Blyton Turnbull, 2004, P27). And
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As the expression of employees' dissatisfaction and differences with employers, conflict is regarded as bad and irrational for the organization and should be kept down through some forcible ways. Conflict can arise from employees' misunderstanding of the direction of the organisation or the poor communication between the staff and the management, enabling employees to substitute alternative agendas instead of the organisation's agenda (Bray, Deery, Walsh and Waring, 2005). Moreover, conflicts can arise from the poor management that caused by the management's failure to identify and meet employees' basic needs.

From this perspective, trade union is perceived not necessary and the role of it is creating conflict, and it is seen an unwelcome intrusion into the organization from outside competing with management for the loyalty of employees (Rose, 2004). Trade unions exist either as the result of wickedness or perverseness of individual employees, or because of a failure of management to anticipate and incorporate worker needs and concerns (Bray, Deery, Walsh and Waring, 2005).

Fox argues that the importance of the unitary perspective is declining and has been superseded by the pluralist superseded by the pluralist perspective (Rose, 2004).

The pluralist approach recognizes that different groups exist within an organization and that conflict can, and does, exist between employer and employees. (Gennard and Judge, 2002, P208)The pluralist perspective is
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