Exploring Employee Relations  book cover
2nd Edition

Exploring Employee Relations

ISBN 9780750669399
Published January 5, 2007 by Routledge
464 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring Employee Relations is a straightforward and accessible text that is aimed at students who are taking the subject for the first time. The structure is clear and logical, leading the newcomer through the topics in a way to maximise comprehension. Key issues are highlighted and supported by a small case or example from business. Chapters are structured to enable progressive learning with a logical development of the content. Each chapter ends with a summary of the key points met in the text and these are further reinforced by review and discussion questions, with answers and feedback on the activities included at the end of the book. The chapters are grouped thematically into parts and longer case studies are included that are suitable for assignment and seminar work.

This new edition is thoroughly revised with a new international approach which provides new material on the European Union and the role of Government and Demography, bargaining power and securing employee commitment. The text has also been written to cover the new CIPD employee relations syllabus

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Employee relations and the employment relationship.
Definitions of employee relations
The employment relationship
A psychological contract? Interests and expectations.
Forms of attachment, compliance and commitment
Conflict, cooperation and perspectives
A legal contract and the relevance of ideology
The quality of employee relations
An industrial relations system
Criticisms of the Dunlop model
A framework for studying employee relations
Chapter summary

Chapter 2. The nature of work
Taylorism - scientific management - Fordism
Disadvantages of Fordism and the emergence of Post-Fordism
Flexible Specialisation.
The flexible firm
Other competitive production strategies
Job re-design and the search for commitment, flexibility and quality
Commitment, intrinsic satisfaction, involvement and functional flexibility
Japanization? Quality, involvement and commitment as competitive advantage
The quality circle
Team Working
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Just-in-Time (JIT)
Incidence and impact of the new production strategies [en] perceptions and Conclusions
Chapter summary.

Chapter 3 Globalization, multinational corporations and employee relations.
Multinational corporations
Scale and nature of multinational activity and FDI
FDI advantages and disadvantages
MNC approaches to the management of employee relations
MNCs and the trade unions
International trade union organization
Global organizations
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
International regulation and control of MNC activities
The International Labour Organization (ILO)
Chapter summary.

Chapter 4 The European Union
History and membership of the EU
The Commission.
The Council of the European Union
The Parliament.
The social partners
Legislative forms
Decision making processes
Social Policy -The social dimension
The Social Charter.
Different traditions and systems.
Social Policy – The Treaties.
Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the Union
Main initiatives
Employee participation
Collective Redundancies
The Transfers of Undertakings.
The European Works Council Directive 94/45/EC
Information and Consultation at a National Level.
Council Directive 2001/86/EC - Statute for a European Company.
Financial participation
The Organisation of working time.
Article 13 Directives.
Genuine Occupational Requirements and other exceptions.
Positive action.
Directive 97/81/EC on Part-Time Work .
Directive 1999/70/EC on Fixed term work
Directive on Parental Leave (96/34). :
Equal Pay.
The Europeanisation of social protection and employee relations.
Chapter summary.

Chapter 5 The Role of Government.
Ideologies and political approaches
Government and the economy.
Keynesian approaches.
The UK
Government as legislator and the legal context.
The legislative context in the UK.
The Individual Employment relationship.
Trades unions and collective processes.
Trade unions.
Trade union members.
Information and consultation.
Industrial action.
The law on Discrimination and Equality.
Government as employer.
The UK.
Pre 1979.
Post 1979
The state and dispute resolution.
ACAS Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
Chapter summary.

Chapter 6. Demography, labour force and market characteristics and trends.
Labour force participation
By gender
Age group
Part-time work
By gender
Age group
Long-term unemployment
Employment by Sector
Factors influencing Female Participation
Labour force participation and unemployment by educational attainment.
Chapter summary.

Chapter 7 Trade unions
Why trade unions and why do people join?
The objectives of trade unions
Factors influencing objectives/ orientation
Trade union structure
Internal government and democracy
Trade union membership
Problems of measurement
Reasons for variations
Trade union recognition
Challenges and responses
Chapter summary

Chapter 8 Managing employee relations.
HRM –What is it?
HRM and implications for employee relations
Management’s objectives
Managerial style(s)
Criticisms and developments
Managing with or without unions?
Employee Involvement and the pursuit of employee commitment.
Chapter summary

Chapter 9 Employee relations processes.
Employee participation
Forms and paradigms.
Continuum of participation
Which decisions?
Collective bargaining
Joint consultation
Bargaining power.
Chapter summary

Chapter 10 Employee relations procedures.
Procedures - what are they and why have them?
Disciplinary procedures
Issues and considerations
Stages and warnings, number and type
Disciplinary Procedures and the law in the UK
Grievance procedures and handling
Issues and considerations
Subject matter coverage/jurisdiction of the procedure
Information and representation
Time limits
Grievance handling
The hearing/interview
Grievance procedures and the law in the UK
Chapter summary.

Chapter 11 Current issues and future trends.
ion and participation; Employment law; Human resource strategy

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Mike Leat


‘The best feature is the shift towards giving more attention to the influence of the EU, globalization and a deeper look at the nature of the labour market. I would like to see a second edition of the text published. After a fallow period, ER is an expanding area of interest again.’
John Kimberley, University of Central England

‘Generally seems in line with previous text – which was quite student friendly, generally a popular text on the subject. Required reading – one of 2 texts recommended for purchase… Leat or Blyton & Turnbull: Dynamics of Employee Relations’
Ian Roper, Middlesex University

‘Yes – would meet the needs of the module for which I have been using it – a third year undergrad module on Employee Relations which forms part of a number of different Business subject degrees. For use in my post grad teaching (part of the CIPD accredited MSc in HRM) the text would need the additional chapter on handling conflict/industrial action referred to. The increasing number of international students on both UG and PG programmes would make a more generic text (as described) useful. Main text for undergrad ER module – approx 100 students per year. Could also be one of number of recommended texts for PG modules – varying numbers. Have been using the first edition for UG module – was planning to change to a more up to date text.’
Fiona Oldham, Napier University