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Title: From collective bargaining to 'procedural individualisation' : a study of recent trends in industrial relations in South Wales manufacturing
Author: Jenkins, Jean.
Awarding Body: University of Keele
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2005
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Abstract:
Research was conducted, in the empirical case study tradition of industrial relations enquiry (see Brown and Wright, 1994: 161-163), in thirteen manufacturing plants across a range of industries located in the Industrial Region of South Wales. It is argued that there had been a general move, at the workplaces studied, from a pluralist model of industrial relations towards one that in content, if not outward form, was unitary in nature. Such a shift was often loosely classified under the heading of `partnership' or `co-operation' in the context of union weakness. Under the threat of redundancy or plant closure, workplace unions were encouraged to co-operate with management in facilitating changes to working practices. Managerial information about the threat of competition from alternative producers was combined with the ideology of co-operation and partnership in order to emphasise the common goals of workers, unions and managers. This was particularly the case in strongly unionised plants; where the union was weaker, or non-existent, managers continued as before. The outcome for well-organised plants was the narrowing of bargaining scope and increasingly unilateral managerial decision-making, even if masked by a `pluralist model of practice' (see Guest and Peccei, 1998: 8) involving continued union presence or partnership-style arrangements. The monitoring role of unions remained important in enforcing individual rights. These findings corroborate the work of Brown et al (1999) and (2000). Comparison of results from all thirteen plants makes it difficult to reach any other conclusion than that partnership and procedural individualisation are inextricably linked. The thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of procedural individualisation highlighted in the work of Brown et al (1999) and Brown et al (2000), and has relevance for the debate over partnership relations between management and unions (see, for example, Ackers and Payne, 1998: 529-550; Kelly, 1998: 59-65).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.414882  DOI: Not available
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