MGHC53H3 Chapter 6: The Management Perspective (Hebdon & Brown)

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Department
Management (MGH)
Course
MGHC53H3
Professor
Radhakrishnan
Semester
Winter

Description
H&B - Chapter 6: The Management Perspective: The Evolving Managerial View: - Most significant perspectives that have influenced managerial thinking o The master-servant relationship o Scientific management o Human relations o Human resources management (HRM) Master-servant relationship - Early employment relationship  significant power imbalance o Employment relationship  a contractual agreement whereby the employee was obligated to perform work and the employer was required to pay wages o Worker forced into agreeing to employment terms and conditions (i.e. illegal to quit, bargain collectively or to form a union) - Master-servant relationship – the essence of the common-law employment relationship pertaining to non- union workplaces - Rarely interference by courts and usually in employers’ favour if there was - Labour viewed as a commodity - Little ramification (consequence/complication) to the employer - Limited consideration of the employee - Marginal court protection of the employee - Sparked the movement of organized labour in a balance of power between mgmt. and labour Scientific management (Taylorism) - Industrial Revolution  movement toward large-scale workplaces employing large groups of workers - Focus on mass production via assembly lines o Large # of tasks to becoming specialists in a small # of tasks (or even a single task)  task specialization - Task specialization started in early 1900s because of Frederick Taylor’s theory of scientific mgmt. o Work should be divided into simple tasks, and workers should be trained to perform a small # of these simple tasks o Managers should perform all planning and decision-making tasks while workers merely perform simple tasks in accordance with the plans and decisions made by mgmt. - Elements of master-servant relationship remained - Employee seen as an extension of the machines they ran - Goal was to reduce costs by making the production line (and those running it) as efficient as possible Human relations - Human relations – a managerial view that believes that effective mgmt. practices can minimize the conflict between managers and employees o Movement in the 1930s as a more enlightened approach to mgmt. o Influenced by Elton Mayo and the Human Relations School he founded (known for the Hawthorne studies) - Focused heavily on the role of effective leadership as a way to improve the workplace - Hawthorne studies o Effects of lighting, breaks, and other factors on plant workers’ productivity o Productivity found to increase dependent on the work environment, and the social needs and satisfaction of workers - Criticized by the labour movement as anti-union o May have started by the human relations school o Found ways to improve the relationship between workers and mgmt. without reducing managerial control o Disagreement  some unionists embraced human relations concepts Human resources management (HRM) - Concepts came from the human relations school and the field of organizational behaviour (OB) - Core  relationship between individual employees and their employers (mgmt.) - HRM profession seeks to balance the need for fairness in workplace procedures with the organization’s need to remain efficient and productive - Attempts to achieve competing goals by minimizing the elements of o Industrial democracy (democratic processes in the workplace  not collective representation) o Conflict between mgmt. and worker - Barbash’s seminal equity-efficient theory  theoretical link between the HRM and traditional IR perspectives o Efficiency in terms of the organizational outputs  focused on the needs of the organization o Equity in terms of fair or ethical treatment of employers by employees ▪ Employees need to have a say in the work they perform (voice) ▪ Employees require due process in the handling of complaints ▪ Employees are entitled to fair treatment at work ▪ Employees are entitled to meaningful work ▪ Employees need fair compensation and secure employment o Collective agreement terms protect employees from exploitation, inconsistent mgmt. practices, and potentially unsafe work practices while still assuring that the operation remains financially viable - Barbash argued that mgmt. itself could introduce equity through HRM practices o Organizational justice – employees’ perception of fair treatment at work ▪ Distributive justice – employees’ perception of fairness in workplace outcomes and decisions ▪ Procedural justice – employees’ perception of fairness in workplace procedures • Mirrors Dunlop’s concepts of procedural rules (rules concerning processes and procedures) ▪ Interactional justice – employees’ perceptions of the fairness of interpersonal interactions and exchanges • Mirrors Dunlop’s concepts of substantive rules (rules concerning the outcomes) - Not anti-union The Growing Role of Mgmt. The strategic choice framework - Kochan, Katz, McKersie (1986) focused on the role of mgmt.  mgmt. as the driving force in transforming the IR system - # of trends in the U.S. from 1960s to 1980s o Rapid decline in the # of unionized workers o Large # of employers opening new locations in largely non-union areas or states o Large # of plant and business closures in the more heavily unionized states o Decreased capital expenditures in non-unionized vs. unionized plants o Shift of products from union to non-union plants o Movement toward “union-free” workplaces (i.e. HRM strategies to avoid unionization; value of unionization provided by the employer already) - 1980s in the U.S.  anti-union trends in the National Labour Relations Board and the gov’t o Appointment of “employer-friendly” and “anti-union” members to the NLRB o Pro-mgmt./anti-union approach to labour relations by political leaders and gov’ts of the time - Trends questioned Dunlop’s (1958) concept of shared ideology o Actors of mgmt. and gov’t were questioning, if not reducing, the role of labour - Strategic choice framework – a view that emphasizes the role of mgmt. and strategies in the industrial relations system o IR decisions are made at 3 levels (business level; collective bargaining level; day-to-day workplace level) o Effective strategies require these 3 levels to work in 1 direction in order to achieve major goals ▪ Strategic choices must be designed to achieve a significant goal, planned and executed from the highest level, and must have a LT focus o Strategic choices can have a longer-term impact on all actors and the IR system ▪ Strategic choice of one actor can impact the other actors and the IR system Strategic choice and Canada - Arguments concerning the potential for “non-union” IR system in Canada arose shortly after the release of Kochan et al.’s publish o Canada has historically followed the IR trends of the US o # of multinational corporations that are HQ-ed in the U.S. and operate in Canada will encourage a similar transition here in Canada o Low level of union density in the private sector o Increased global competition will encourage employers to avoid the increased wage and benefit costs associated with unionization o Progressive HRM techniques may result in employees no longer seeing significant advantages to unionization, making such workers difficult to organize o Rise in largely non-unionized industries (e.g. retail, business services) o Gov’ts are taking actions that may be seen as “pro-mgmt.” (i.e. wages and benefits in back-to-work legislation, or threaten to use such legislation to end a strike) - Arguments that Canada will not see a shift from unionization o Union density rate in Canada still remains in the 30% range with limited evidence of a radical drop o Highly unionized public sector shows little likelihood of becoming union-free o Unions focusing efforts with youth and union drives - Arguments for a movement to a non-union system in some sectors of the economy but not others o Chaykowski and Verma (1992) suggests that in heavily unionized industries and in the public sector, we are unlikely to see the movement to a union-free model o Private sector and in largely non-union industries may see trends toward union-free workplaces (more external environment pressures like increased competition and global trade) Industrial Relations and Business Strategies - Business/organizational strategy process includes 4 phases o Assessment of the external and internal environments  SWOT analysis o Strategy formation ▪ Based on the SWOT analysis, development of the mission statement will follow to map out the organization’s overall purpose ▪ Break the mission statement into specific performance goals to determine a more targeted direction (i.e. SMART goals) ▪ Firm will develop strategies to achieve these performance goals o Strategy implementation o Strategy evaluation ▪ Effectiveness? What factors impacted the success or lack of success of the IR strategy? ▪ Post-evaluation and the refinement of the strategy and a restart of the previous steps - Need to examine the fit of its strategy with its overall people-mgmt. strategy - Strategic HRM – managing HRM philosophies, policies, and practices in a manner that supports the achievement of the organizational strategy o Overall HR philosophy  defines values of the organization as it related to employees and HR issues o Specific policies  formal policies and guidelines that can outline/constrain specific HR strategies o Specific practices Management strategies related to unions - Effectiveness of HRM includes analysis of IR and of the organization’s strategy in relation with labour relations and unionization - Thompson (1995) identified 4 specific mgmt. strategies related to unions o Union acceptance o Union resistance o Union removal o Union substitution - Union acceptance – mgmt.’s seeing unionization as a democratic right, and accepting that part, if not all, of its operations will be unionized o Unionization is somewhat inevitable o Doesn’t mean that mgmt. will give up control of the operation to the union o Goal for mgmt.  obtain the best deal that it can to meet its operational needs - Union resistance – a mgmt. policy seeking to limit the spread of unions in the firm o Mgmt. accepts the right of employees to organize and may follow a union-acceptance strategy in the parts of the organization that are currently unionized o Mgmt. will oppose any further unionization of its workforce (i.e. active opposition to union drives and challenging certification procedures; illegal behaviours) - Union removal (union busting) – a mgmt. strategy designed to remove the union from the workplace o Unionized workplaces  mgmt. endeavours to ensure tat unionized employees’ working conditions, wages, and benefits are not superior
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