In John Budd's Labor Relations: Striking a Balance, Chapter 10 “Flexibility, Empowerment and Partnership" discuss Labor-Management Partnership are formal initiatives in which the union’s...

In John Budd's Labor Relations: Striking a Balance, Chapter 10 “Flexibility, Empowerment and Partnership" discuss Labor-Management Partnership are formal initiatives in which the union’s leaders and workers work together beyond collective bargaining.

Answer the fallowing:

  • Why Labor Management Partnership is important?

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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John W. Budd’s textbook on labor relations, Labor Relations: Striking a Balance, devotes considerable space to the challenge of maintaining an appropriate balance between management and labor.  Budd’s study is not polemical, and seeks to prepare students for the practical approach to forging relationships between management and labor, as the company in question can no more prosper without one than without the other.  At some point, Budd argues, the two sides must negotiate in good faith in the recognition that an imbalance in power between the two components will invariably weaken the institution to the detriment to all concerned.  What Budd refers to as “pluralistic industrial relations,” and which he dates to the era of the Great Depression and the New Deal programs designed to reduce unemployment and spur economic growth is the logical compromise between imbalances between labor and management that ultimately result in stagnant growth and self-destructive practices. 

Part Three of Budd’s study, “Issues for the 21st Century,” begins with a discussion, Chapter 10, titled “Flexibility, Empowerment, and Partnership.”  In this chapter, the author reiterates the necessity of labor and management both exercising restraint and acting responsibly for the good of the company, as neither party prospers or prevails if the corporation itself fails.  Partnerships, then, remain the optimal approach for ensuring that each side in the dispute, management and labor, comes away from the bargaining process confident of success yet without the temptation to trumpet one’s achievements as a victory over the other side.  Only by working in partnership, Budd argues, can a workable and sustainable balance be achieved between property and labor rights “to promote a balance between efficiency, equity and voice.”  Labor needs to believe that it has protected the rights of the workers while management needs to be confident that its ability to function cost-effectively has not been undermined through inequitable labor negotiations.  Most importantly, neither side should approach negotiations, or walk away from a negotiated solution, harboring competitive sentiments that equate to perceptions of labor-management relations as constituting a zero-sum game in which one side succeeds only at the expense of the other side.

Because some level of comity and stability is essential for optimal productivity, the closer labor and management can come to a genuine partnership, the greater the prospects of success for all parties concerned.

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