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Human Resource Management Is Replacing Traditional Industrial Relations

2716 words - 11 pages

I. Introduction

The aim of this project is to show that human resource management is replacing traditional industrial relations in organisations. Armstrong (2006: 3) defined human resource management as a strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organisation's most valued asests- the people working there who individually and collectively contribute to the achivement of its objectives.
According to Storey (1989, cited in Armstrong 2006), HRM can be regarded as a 'set of inter related policies with an ideological and philopsophical underpinning'.
There are critical HRM activities that are shared by all types of organisations (Gunnigle et al. 2006):
1.Strategy and ...view middle of the document...

There are main contextual factors which have deterimned the current and which will influence the future shape of the industrial relations: historic, international, economic, labour market, technological, political, legal, social, media (Gunnigle et al. 1999).

Part 2 provides a review of the subject of employee relations, there will be an explanation of the following issues: employee relations (indivudalism and collectivism; trade unions, employer associations and collective bargaining.
Part 3 examines the collective bargaining, the factor of Industrial relations that is being replaced by human resource management. In this part an attempt is made to show the arguments for and against statement: HRM replace collective bargaining as the centrepiece of the industrial relations system.

HR
IR


Key areas of focus- HR/IR

II.Employee relations

2.1 Employee relations
Gunnigle et al. (2006) suggest that employee relations is one of the most significant aspects of the HR role in organisations. The term employee relations is used as a generic term to embrance all employer, employee and state interactions on employment matters.
These relationships deal with the agreement of terms and conditions of employment and with all issues arising from employment. Employee relations cover a broader spectrum of the employment relationship than industrial relations. Armstrong (2006) recognizes the move away from collectivism towards individualism in the ways in which employers relate to their employees. This move has been caused by a growing importance of the HRM philosophy.

2.2 Legal/Employment Law

Individual Employment Law
The main purpose of the labour law is to regulate and restrain the power of management and the power of organised labour. 'The legislative initiatives may be viewed as a countercailing force, giving redress to the unequal bargaining power of the invdividual vis-a-vis the employing organisation.' (Gunnigle et al. 1999: 34). At the root of the employment law is the common law contract of employment. Gunnigle highlights the more salient and relevant aspects of the labour law: the employment contract, dismissal law, equality legislation.

Collective Labour Law
Collective labour law establishes the legal framework under which industrial relations takes place and is distinguished from individual labour law. Its concern is to regulate the relationship between employers and collectivities of employees (trade unions). The most significant development in Irish collective labour law has been the enactment of the Industrial Relations Act 1990. The Act represents revision of industrial relations, trade dispute and trade union law.
The purpose of the Industrial Relations Act was outlined by the Minister for Labour, Bertie Ahern: 'to put in place an improed framework for the conduct of industrial...

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