Collective bargaining and HRM

There is evidence of the adoption of HRM. HRM has emerged during the 1980s in both the US and the UK. Two new journals have been created: Human Resource Management Journal and International Journal of Human Resource Management replacing the Personnel Review. (Legge,1995) This suggests that HRM has emerged as a discipline. However a WIRSurvey of 1990 and a Warwick Company Levek survey of 1992 showed that only a small minority of personnel specialists have ‘human resource’ in their titles.

Nevertheless, Legge (1995) notes that despite this, media evidence was not consistent with it, as the use of the terminology is evidential in news reports and newspapers for example. However as Sisson, 1993 indicates a cynic would explain that the adoption of HRM-type practices is for the purposes of winning ‘hearts and minds’, and to make public the ineffectiveness of trade unions. Cully et al have up-to-date employee relations data, but they do not claim to have identified a dominant model to replace the former collective representation dominant model.

“such efforts may yet bear fruit”, (Millward et al, 2000)…. “But out most likely expectation is that the economy will continue to generate more workplaces in which the nature of employment relationships is almost exclusively a matter for managerial choice. In some cases, managerial regimes may approximate to versions of enlightened ‘human resource management’; in others, there will be authoritarian regimes which give little opportunity for employee voice. ” In other words the strategy of employment relations adopted will depend on the context of the situation.

Government and other parties actions, along with other factors will influence whether any particular model will come to dominate employment relations. One criticism of HRM, is that it is unlikely to act in favour of employees as well as the actions of trade unions. This is because firms have incentive to increase their own benefits at the expense of their employees. In addition it is nai?? ve for British managements to think they can do without trade unions in the short-run, they need to develop managers that can cope with individualism.

One suggestion for HRM improvement is, “What is still needed for a transformation is a change of gear by management – greater emphasis on co-operation and more investment in physical and human capital. ” (Metcalf, 1994) Overall there has been a move away from collective bargaining and a move towards HRM. However HRM is not yet a dominant paradigm, it can be improved. Also it is possible for both collective bargaining and HRM to run simultaneously.