Management Essay

798 words - 4 pages

Describe how the Unitarist and Pluralist approaches to conflict would explain the positions of (a) management and (b) unions in the Qantas dispute.  Identify which one of the approaches provides the better explanation. Explain how you reached this conclusion.  

In order to describe how the Unitarist and Pluralist approaches to conflict in regards to the position of management and the unions in the Qantas dispute, it is critical to first understand the concept of employment ideology. The field of employment relations takes theories and concepts from these traditional social science disciplines and uses them to study employment relations (Pearson 2012)

The Qantas dispute involves three ...view middle of the document...

Therefore by the Unitarist perspective it is not necessary for government or union intervention. However, it appears as there it little mutuality in cooperation and objectives between Qantas and their employees. What Qantas management wanted to do, was to decrease the cost of labor, by setting up new offshore hub, to be able to pay rates that would be less low, shifts to be longer and have conditions that are more ‘flexible’. By the Unitarist approach they believe that because of the common interest and focus on loyalty there is no need for conflict, as Qantas claims due to its international operation lost of $200 million they were in need for the changed management required. (Barry 2011)

In contrast to the Unitarist approach the Pluralist approach main characteristics outlined by Fox (1966) was that organizations are seen as coalitions of competing interests. There is a difference of interest, In particular dealing with status, power and the distribution of income (Pearson 2012). There is an unequal balance in the organization, which the pluralist considers the difference of interest lead inevitably to conflict. Furthermore, the pluralist believe for conflict of be regulated, implications for government and wider society to intervene in the interest of the public. Thus in the example of the Qantas dispute, Qantas was faced with the industrial dispute with three major trade unions, that of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Licensed Engineers Union (ALAEA) and the International Pilots Union (AIPA). Furthermore,...

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