Theories of Employment Relationship

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Business ・APA ・6 Sources

Traditional Ideas and Changing Working Climate

Traditional ideas have been adapted to suit the changing working climate, and industrial relations continue to change. The new technologies also taken management and negotiation of workers to the company stage. In addition, women continue to be more competitive and take on management roles in the corporate world despite disparities between women's sex as equal (Bray, Waring, McNeil, & Rea, 2014). The management of human resources is becoming an integral aspect of corporations. In Australian industries, the importance and credibility of roles and responsibilities of Human Resource Management in firms concerning the participation of women is evident (Bray, Waring, McNeil, & Rea, 2014). The employers hold strong opinions that their Human capital is a key factor for organizational growth. Women are now present in every field and every level of employment (Bray, Waring, McNeil, & Rea, 2014). The need for having a higher number of women in the workforce has increased. Traditionally, people were forced to accept their place in the social order, which has since changed.

Pluralist Perspective

According to the pluralist theory, the organization is considered as a powerful divergent subgroups (Bray, 2009). Each of these subgroups has legitimate loyalties and set objectives and leaders. Management and trade unions are the predominant subgroups of the pluralist theory. Based on this view, the role of the management then shifts towards the enforcement and the control of the organizational laws (Bray, 2009). They have the role of persuading the employees and working co-ordinated activities within the organization. Trade unions, on the other hand, are considered to be the legitimate representative of employees. They help resolve conflicts through collective bargaining. When trade unions are managed, they could contribute to the evolution and positive image of the organizations (Bray, 2009). Since the interests of the employees and the employers are different, conflict is inevitable. Trade unions ensure that the interests of the employees are protected. Employment relations have since evolved, and a degree of bargaining power has been given to the employees by the labor market regulations. The state, therefore, came up with protective laws and dispute settlement mechanisms that are applied in today's labor market (Bray, Waring, McNeil & Rea, 2014). Further, employees through voluntary action protect themselves and increase their bargaining power through freedom of association and the state backs them by guaranteeing their rights (Edwards, 2009). Trade unions have been established to protect and give the employees bargaining power. The workers can advocate for their rights and those of other employees despite the differences in their employers. This has improved the effectiveness of employment relations by ensuring that all parties involved are contented and thus increasing the productivity levels in organizations (Edwards, 2009).

Unitary Theory

The Unitarian theory assumes that the values that hold the workplace conflict are not inevitable characteristics in employment relations (Bray, 2009). The conflicts are considered to be an abbreviation of a relationship that could lead to cooperation. This is because employers in today's workplaces ensure that the individuals engaged in the conflict have the best interest of the entities. Therefore, managers must ensure they pay attention and eliminate any sources of conflict that may arise within companies. One major factor that may lead to conflicts is the issue of gender equality (Lakhani, Kuruvilla & Avgar, 2013). Women for a long time have not been considered as productive as the men in organizational settings. However, the Australian law has been set to ensure the country makes significant steps in promoting gender equality. Discrimination of women in the workplace could be a factor that would lead to conflicts. Therefore, the management should ensure conflict is avoided by providing equal and fair promotional chances for all the employees (Bray, Waring, McNeil & Rea, 2014). They must ensure they have a considerable number of women both in top management positions and other levels of administration. This will allow them to create gender equality in their employment positions and create major benefits for firms through the empowerment of women in the society. Research has shown that businesses have major benefits to the business through having a diverse senior management (Bray, Waring, McNeil & Rea, 2014).

Radical Theory

The understanding of industrial relations considers the nature of the capitalist society where there is a large difference between the capital and labor (Bray et al., 2009). Interests are divided between labor and capital which then form the basis of workplace relations. The inequality of power originates from the capitalist economic systems. Conflicts in the workplace cannot be avoided and trade unions become a way for the employees to protect themselves against exploitation (Perry-Jerkings & Wadsworth, 2017). The Marxist view, therefore, states that establishments of joint guidelines would improve rather than limit the place of the management (Bray et al., 2009). The theory recognizes industrial relations as an essential result of workers pursuing to shield themselves from powerful organizations that are profit-oriented and thus have no respect for their employees other than what they are mandated to do by the law. The laws that are made by the Australian government today concerning employment contracts require employers to take care of the welfare of the employees. This is particularly so when it comes to the welfare of the women in employment. The employers must provide favorable working condition and a satisfactory working environment for their employees where those who act contrary to the law face the risk of litigation. The theory, therefore, explains the importance of trade unions in ensuring that the needs of the employees are catered for by the organizations.

Gender Perspective

Society and the fields of gender research and society are constantly evolving (Perry-Jerkings & Wadsworth, 2017). The traditional values of industrial relations are useful in the making of policies. These industrial relations help keep women and gender in its research periphery. The theory helps in making women more visible in their employment areas. Traditionally, men have dominated the workplace, and this has been supported by traditional perspectives. Industrial relations analysis is usually based on the contemplation of how actors in entities participate with and shape governing frameworks and how the contexts affect remuneration and conditions at work (Lakhani, Kuruvilla & Avgar, 2013). The regulatory and institutional makeup are significant factors in gender equality outcomes (Lakhani, Kuruvilla & Avgar, 2013). The government of Australia has therefore reviewed and inquired into the architecture to contribute to a sense of policy flux despite the few substantive changes. These policy developments are pertinent to women workers; some of the changes experienced are the inclusion of parental leave scheme, an increase of the domestic violence scheme, and the implication of the lifetime income gap for women. Establishments have focused on recognizing, retaining and developing women in the society based on scarcity in global talent being experienced today (Perry-Jerkings & Wadsworth, 2017).

The Importance of Gender Equality

The need for consideration of gender equality in the workplace has however increased. Women in the workplace have become more noticeable, and their welfare is considered in today's working environment. This theory helps us understand the employment relations employed in Australia today. The organizations in the country ensure they retain sufficient knowledge about the structure of their entities and have the power to direct employees as it deems fit (Salamon, 2000). The law protects the rights of women in employment relations and guarantees organizations adhere to them. For instance, it is mandatory for firms to provide paid maternity leave. However, some of the managers may decide to not to pay or even suck the women based on the idea that they have self-centered aspirations (Salamon, 2000). This is evident traditionally where for decades; women have struggled to ensure they survive in the corporate world. However, organizations made it difficult for them through lack of maternity leaves forcing most of them to terminate their promising careers ones they have children or chose not to have children. This oppressed the women and explained the reasons for the small number of women in the corporate world. However, the government has come up with laws that mandate employers to provide paid maternity leave for the women workers. These laws protect women and aid them to become successful individuals in the society.


Traditional relations theories help to understand employment relations in the current Australia, especially concerning women workers. The various theories have since evolved to accommodate the changing thoughts and opinions regarding the treatment of employees in the work environment. The interests of the employees are protected by the laws set by the Australian government and employers have been forced to ensure they adhere to them. In traditional patriarch communities in Australia however, keeping women working has been difficult. The changes in the work-force demography and wars among employers to attract and retain the most skilled employees have made companies in Australian to work on improving the existing policies and facilities for women. They have established projects aimed at managing employee talents to survive in the competitive business world.

Employee Relationship Management and Successful Businesses

The application of employee relationship Management process to help companies effectively manage interactions with their employees helps them to achieve their goals. This is based on the current theories, which proclaim that happy employees are productive employees. Therefore, successful businesses have succeeded in ensuring they manage relations to build lasting satisfaction of their employees. They understand that the people are the most important part of any business since they allow the business to function effectively and smoothly. It also ensures conflicts within firms are minimized to positively contribute to the output of the business. Consequently, companies need to understand the value of employment relations, especially women workers for them to be successful in the modern business environment.


Bray, M. (2009). The study of employment relations: analytic tools. Third ed. McGraw Hill. ISBN: 9781743070130

Bray, M., Waring, P., McNeil, J. & Rea Cooper. (2014). Employment relations: theory and practice. McGraw Hill.

Lakhani, T., Kuruvilla, S. & Avgar, A. (2013). From the Firm to the Network: Global Value Chains and Employment Relations Theory. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51(3), 440-472

Salamon, M. (2000). Industrial relations: theory and practice. Pearson Education.

Edwards, P. (Ed.). (2009). Industrial relations: theory and practice. John Wiley and Sons.

Perry-Jerkings, M. & Wadsworth, S.M. (2017). Work and Family Research and Theory: Review, Analysis, and Ecological Perspective. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9(2), 219-237.

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