The Dynamics and Dimensions of Industrial Relations Change: A Comparative Analysis

By Niland, John; Clarke, Oliver | The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR, December 1990 | Go to article overview

The Dynamics and Dimensions of Industrial Relations Change: A Comparative Analysis


Niland, John, Clarke, Oliver, The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR


1. Introduction

For many countries the 1980s are seen as a decade of change in social policy and practice. To seek change implies the quest for a better order. What, then, are the elements of "good industrial relations" which a reform process might seek to capture? Four particular features come to mind. First, the system must satisfy the employers and trade unions, managers and workers who are principal actors in it Second, it should operate without undue industrial conflict Third, it must determine wages, working conditions and working practices that are consistent with national economic and social needs. And fourth, closely linked with the third, it should facilitate the organisational and technological change that is essential to a successful economy, while at the same time ensuring that the costs of adjustment are equitably shared.

2. The Experience of Change

Poking back over, say, 60 years, some decades have witnessed appreciably more change than others, although on the whole it is surprising how few radical changes there have been

Apart from the effects on labor relations of Nazi and fascist systems in the early 1930s, that decade also saw notable change in three or four other countries. In the United States the spur of the Depression prompted a New Deal in which the strengthening of trade unions (with which the rapid growth of industrial unions was associated) and the establishment of a system of collective bargaining played a major part In Sweden, long years of industrial strife preceded the accession of a social democratic government, fear of government intervention, a change in leadership for both the employers and the unions, and a deep dissatisfaction with the existing situation among employers and workers, which set off the talks culminating in the Saltsjobaden Agreement of 1938, thus laying the basis of the much praised 'Swedish Model'. In Switzerland, too, fear of government intervention and distaste for prevalent conflict led to the first industrial peace agreement of 1937. A fourth change, part of the 'experience Blum' in France in 1936, proved to be mainly transient. Having foundered on economic crisis, the opposition of employers, and political dissension among the trade unions, it left behind it little more than the establishment of paid holidays and a notional 40-hour week,

The 1940s showed another, if expensive, way of changing an industrial relations system-war. The war-damaged countries of continental Europe, together with Japan, reconstructed their industrial relations systems. In the liberated countries there was usually some infrastructure which had not entirely disappeared under occupation and could be revived, but the new systems differed significantly from the old. In Germany, Austria and Japan completely new systems had to be devised, while in the case of Japan key new elements were introduced by the occupying powers (Gould, 1984).

From 1950 on, however, radical systemic changes have been few, the most substantial being those wrought as a result of political change in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey. Elsewhere institutional changes contributed to a greater industrial democracy. Changes warranting consideration, are those that have taken place in France, Britain, Sweden and Australia (in contrast to the United States and Japan where change has been minimal).

The Socialist government that came to power in France in 1981, after decades of government by right of centre parties, sought to curb unstable employment, to encourage employment by reductions in working hours and to promote industrial relations in the enterprise. But the four substantial laws passed in 1982, the' Auroux' Laws which the centre-right government of 1986-88 did not seek to change, seem to have made remarkably little difference to French industrial relations (Moss, 1988). And, considering that the rate of unionisation in France is now probably no more than between 15 and 20 per cent, a great many formal aspects of industrial relations are not applied in practice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Dynamics and Dimensions of Industrial Relations Change: A Comparative Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.