Employment Relations course guide

The main aim of this course is to introduce students to the theories, institutions and practices of employment relations.

The module examines the role and objectives of the main actors in employment relations – employers, employees and trade unions, and the government – and their interactions in collective bargaining, employee involvement/participation, conflict resolution and expression, and the termination of the employment relationship.

Major themes that run through the Employment Relations include attempts to answer the following questions.

How important is the management of employment relations in contemporary work organizations?

How should we evaluate the many major changes in employment relations since the late 1970s?

Are the interests of employees adequately taken into account in an era denoted by a decline in the widespread influence of organized labour?

The following web-links detail the course:

Course co-ordinator and lecturing/tutorial staff

Course aims

Learning outcomes – subject and scholarship mastery

Learning outcomes – personal abilities

Course timetable

Course syllabus, schedule and core reading

Tutorials and topics

Core course reading

Course assessment

Subject and essay writing resources

Additional learning resources

Download a copy of the coursework coverseet at VISION

Past Employment Relations examination papers

Course co-ordinator and lecturing/tutorial staff

Dr. James Richards

Room MB42 (Mary Burton Building)

Telephone no: 0131 451 3043

Email

Course aims

The aim of the Employment Relations course is to critically analyse:

1) The nature of the employment relationship.

2) How the employment relationship and employment relations is changing due to the result of changes in the wider environment.

3) The different aims and objectives of the actors to the employment relationship.

4) The main practices used to regulate the employment relationship.

5) The practices associated with terminating the employment relationship.

Learning outcomes – subject and scholarship mastery

By the end of the course the student will have developed a critical understanding of:

1) The multi-faceted and changing nature of the employment relationship and the practice of employment relations.

2) The different aims and objectives of the actors to the employment relationship.

3) The practices that can be used to regulate conflict in the employment relationship.

4) The practices used by employers to terminate the employment relationship.


By the end of the module the student will have developed the following scholarship skills:

1) Effective analysis and argument of complex subjects and demonstrate understanding through essay writing.

2) Effective analysis and argument of complex subjects and demonstrate understanding through classroom debate.

3) Effective analysis and argument of complex subjects and demonstrate understanding through group presentations.

4) Ability to independently research in-depth one particular dimension of employment relations.

Learning outcomes – personal abilities

By the end of the course the student will have developed in the following areas:

1) The CIPD’s Professional Standards on the practice of employment relations.

2) Presentation skills.

3) Teamworking skills.

4) Written, verbal and visual reasoning skills.

5) Time management skills.

Course timetable

There are two lectures per week in weeks 1-12 (no lectures in week 10):

Tuesday, 11.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m., MB G20

Wednesday, 12.15 p.m. to 1.15 p.m., MB G20

See SML UG timetable

You must also attend one designated tutorial per week for 10 weeks (weeks 2-11)

Course syllabus, schedule and core reading

Below is a brief summary of the course syllabus, the teaching schedule and core reading.

Week 1 (Tuesday)

Course overview (Rose – Chapter 1)

Week 1 (Wednesday)

The origins of change in contemporary employment relations (video – The Grunwick Strike)

Week 2 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

The employment relationship (Rose – Chapter 1)

Week 3 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

The context of employment relations (Rose – Chapter 1)

Week 4 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Employers and the management of employment relations (Rose – Chapter 2)

Week 5 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Employees, organised labour and employment relations (Rose – Chapter 3)

Week 6 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Government policy, legislation and employment relations (Rose – Chapter 4)

Week 7 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Collective bargaining and pay determination (Rose – Chapter 5)

Week 8 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Employee involvement and participation (Rose – Chapter 6)

Week 9 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Strikes and industrial action (Rose – Chapter 8)

Week 10 No lecture – essay writing week

Week 11 (Tuesday)

Discipline and grievance (Rose – Chapter 10)

Week 11 (Wednesday)

Dismissal, redundancy and tribunals (Rose – Chapter 12)

Week 12 (Tuesday)

Course conclusions and revision (Rose – Chapter 13)

Week 12 (Wednesday)

Examination preparation

Tutorials and topics

During weeks 2-11 (no tutorial in week 10) you must attend compulsory tutorials – nine tutorials in total.

You will be allocated a tutorial group in week one and you must stay in that group throughout the semester.

Each of you will be given a tutorial workbook in week 2 - download workbook at VISION.

You are required to prepare in advance for each tutorial.

The format for each tutorial will vary according to subject, yet the tutorials for Employment Relations are all designed to develop your discussion, teamworking and presentation skills.

There will be a maximum of 20 students per tutorial (extra tutorials can be arranged if necessary) and the module co-ordinators reserves the right to re-allocate students if there is an imbalance in numbers between classes.

Tutorial one Thursday 10.15 a.m. to 11.15 a.m. MB G13

Tutorial two Thursday 12.15 p.m. to 1.15 p.m. JC 16


Your performance in tutorials will be assessed (10 per cent of the overall course grade). You are required to attend a minimum of 7 out of 9 tutorials.

If you miss three or more tutorials without medical or other formal supporting evidence your absence you will be de-registered from the course - see HW Student Attendance Policy.

Students will be assessed on how well they influence and lead other students in class discussions – each week two students will lead small group discussions and present the ideas of the small group to the rest of the class.

Tutorial topics include:

Week 1 No tutorial

Week 2 Introduction and ice-breaker

Week 3 The employment relationship

Week 4 The context of employment relationsModernising the Fire Brigade

Week 5 Employers and trade unionsManaging with unions at the Royal Mail

Week 6 Employees, trade unions and employment relations – Union organization of ‘atypical’ workers

Week 7 Governments and employment relationsThe NHS and Agenda for Change

Week 8 Collective bargaining and pay determinationAnnual pay negotiations at PCB Ltd

Week 9 Employee involvement and participationIntroducing employee involvement in the retail sector

Week 10 No tutorial – essay writing week

Week 11 Industrial conflict - Gate Gourmet dispute 2005

Week 12 No tutorial

Core course reading

You are strongly advised to buy the following textbook as an accompanying guide to the course.

Rose, E. (2008), Employment Relations (3rd ed.), FT Prentice Hall (331 ROS).

The library has three copies of this book – two on one-week loans and one on a three-hour loan.

There are earlier editions of this book available (2001 and 2004) that remain useful in most parts and are likely to be available at less cost.

There are alternative recommended core texts available on the subject of employment relations.

They are:

Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P. (2004), The Dynamics Of Employee Relations (3rd), Palgrave Macmillan (331 BLY).

Daniels, K. (2006), Employee Relations In An Organisational Context, CIPD (658.315 DAN).

Hollinshead, G. Nicolls, P. and Tailby, S. (Eds.) (2003), Employee Relations (2nd ed.), FT Prentice Hall (331 HOL).

Gennard, J. and Judge, G. (2005), Employee Relations (4th ed.), CIPD (331 GEN).

Lewis, P., Thornhill, A. and Saunders, M. (2003), Employee Relations: Understanding The Employment Relationship, Prentice Hall (331 LEW).

Williams, S. and Adam-Smith, D. (2006), Contemporary Employment Relations: A Critical Introduction, Oxford University Press (331 WIL).

Course assessment

A successful grade in Employment Relations requires the satisfactory completion of three forms of assessment:

Tutorial performance: 10 per cent - download details of tutorial workshops here via VISION.

Essay: 40 per cent (submitted to Coursework Office by Friday 4 p.m. week 10) - download cover sheet here through VISION.

Examination: 50 per cent (three essays from five in two hours – see past exam papers here)

All students of Employment Relations course must write an essay based on the following question:

“The difficulties of the trade union movement in the new millennium are certainly considerable, yet at the same time not insurmountable” (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004: 169).

Evaluate future prospects for the British trade union movement over the next 10-20 years.

The essay should be between 2,500 and 3,000 words (excluding notes and references) and word-processed - see tips on essay writing.

Download a feedback form from VISION and attach to the front of your work before submission.

You must also email an e-copy (Word, PDF or RTF format only) of your essay to the Module Co-ordinator.

Your e-copy will be subject to plagiarism software – feedback from Turnitin represents part of your final grade.

Details of past examination papers can be found here.

A re-sit or deferment is available during the summer vacation (2009) should you be absent from the end of semester examination or fail this course - check with Registry for details of summer re-sits.

Subject and essay writing resources

Below is a sample of further reading by core subject.

At the very least it represents a necessary starting point for sourcing literature for the course essay.

All material can be accessed via the university library.

The lists are by no means exhaustive and you are encouraged, under your own initiative, to locate and consult further appropriate literature to help when attending lectures, and, preparing for coursework assignments and examinations.

The employment relationship

The context of employment relations

Employers and employment relations

Trade unions and employment relations

Government and employment relations

Collective bargaining and pay determination

Employee involvement and participation

Strikes and industrial conflict

Discipline and grievance

Dismissal, redundancy and tribunals

The employment relationship

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 1 and 2
Daniels – Chapter 1
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 1
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 1
Lewis et al – Chapter 1
Williams and Adam-Smith – Introduction and Chapter 1

Bingham, C. (2007), “Employee Relations And Managing The Employment Relationship", In: Porter, C., Bingham, C. and Simmonds, D. (eds.), Exploring Human Resource Management, McGraw-Hill, pp. 215-238 (658.3 POR).

Coyle-Shapiro, J. (2005), The Employment Relationship: Examining Psychological Contracts, Oxford University Press (158.7 COY).

D’Art, D. and Turner, T. (2006), “New Working Arrangements: Changing The Nature Of The Employment Relationship?”, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 523-538 [ABSTRACT].

Emmott, M. (2005), What Is Employee Relations?, CIPD.

Guest, D. (2007), “HRM and the Worker: Towards a New Psychological Contract?”, In: Boxall, P., Purcell, J. and Wright, P. (2007), The Oxford Handbook Of Human Resource Management, Oxford University Press, pp. 128-146 (658.3 BOX).

Legge, J. (2005 or 1995), Human Resource Management: Rhetoric And Reality, Macmillan (658.3 LEG – Chapter 2).

Roehling, M., Cavanaugh, M., Moynihan, L. and Boswell, W. (2001), “The Nature Of The New Employment Relationship: A Content Analysis Of The Practitioner And Academic Literatures”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 305-320 [ABSTRACT].

Salamon, M. (2000) Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 1).

Sisson, K. (2008), “Putting The Record Straight: Industrial Relations And The Employment Relationship”, Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations, No. 88.

Watson, T., Leopold, J. and Watling, D. (2004), “Strategic Choice In Patterns Of Employment Relationships”, In: Leopold, J., Harris, L. and Watson, T., (eds.) The Strategic Management Of Human Resources, FT Prentice Hall, pp. 406-433 (on order).

The context of employment relations

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 3
Daniels – Chapter 2
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 1
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 3
Lewis et al – Chapter 1
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 2

Cully, M. (1999), Britain At Work: As Depicted By The 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 CUL – Chapter 10).

Donaghy, R. (2005), "The Changing Landscape Of Employment Relations In Britain”, Warwick Papers In Industrial Relations, No. 78.

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 1).

Millward, N., Bryson, A. and Forth, J. (2000), All Change At Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, As Portrayed By The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge (331.0942 MIL – Chapters 1 and 2).

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 2).

Employers and employment relations

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 4
Daniels – Chapter 4
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 3
Gennard and Judge – Chapters 2 and 6
Lewis et al – Chapter 4
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 6

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 3).

Kessler, S. Bayliss, F. (1998), Contemporary British Industrial Relations (3rd ed.), Macmillan (331.0942 KES – Chapter 4).

Millward, N., Bryson, A. and Forth, J. (2000), All Change At Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, As Portrayed By The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge (331.0942 MIL – Chapter 3).

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 7).

Trade unions and employment relations

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 5
Daniels – Chapters 5 and 6
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 4
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 6
Lewis et al – Chapter 6
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 3

Begum, N. and Hicks, S. (2003), “Trade Union Membership (Spotlight July 2003)”, Labour Market Trends, Vol. 111, No. 7, pp 337 - 340.

Bryson, A. (2005), "Union Effects On Employee Relations In Britain", Human Relations, Vol. 58, No. 9, pp. 1111-1159 [ASTRACT].

Claydon, T. (1996), “Union De-recognition: A Re-examination”, In: Beardwell, I. (1996), Contemporary Industrial Relations, OUP, pp. 151-175 (331 BEA).

Crail, M. (2006), “Recognition Agreements: A Look At The State Of The Union”, Employment Trends (5 May), pp. 8-15.

Danford, A. (2005), “New Union Strategies And Forms Of Work Organization In UK Manufacturing”, In: Harley, B., Hyman, J. and Thompson, P. (Eds.), Participation And Democracy At Work: Essays In Honour Of Harvie Ramsay, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 166-185 (658.3152 HAR).

DeTurberville, S. (2005), “Does The ‘Organizing Model’ Represent A Credible Union Renewal Strategy?”, Work, Employment And Society, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 775-794 [ABSTRACT].

Diamond, W. and Freeman, R. (2002), “Will Unionism Prosper In Cyberspace? The Promise Of The Internet For Employee Organization”, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 569-596 [ABSTRACT].

Edwards, P. (2003), “The Future Of Industrial Relations”, In: Ackers, P. and Wilkinson, A. (2003), Understanding Work And Employment: Industrial Relations In Transition, Oxford University Press, pp. 337-358 (331 ACK).

Fairbrother, P., Williams, G., Barton, R., Gibellieri, E. and Tropeoli, A. (2007), “Unions Facing The Future: Questions And Possibilities, Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 31-53 [ABSTRACT].

Fernie, S. (2005), Trade Unions: Resurgence Or Demise? Routledge (331.88 FER).

Gall, G. (2007), “Trade Union Recognition In Britain: An Emerging Crisis For Trade Unions?”, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 78-109 [ABSTRACT] (download a copy via VISION).

Geldman, A. (2006), “Unions Prioritise Pensions For The 2006-07 Pay Round”, Employment Review (20 October 2006), pp. 27-32.

Gospel, H. and Wood, S. (Eds.) (2003), Representing Workers, Routledge (331.88 GOS).

Grainger, H. and Crowther, M. (2007), Trade Union Membership 2006, DTI/National Statistics.

Guest, D. (2001), “Human Resource Management, Trade Unions And Industrial Relations”, In: Storey, J. (ed.), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, Thomson, pp. 110-141 (658.3 STO).

Heery, E. (1996), “The New New Unionism”, In: Beardwell, I. (1996), Contemporary Industrial Relations, OUP, pp. 175-203 (331 BEA).

Heery, E. (2003), “Trade Unions And Industrial Relations”, In: Ackers, P. and Wilkinson, A., Understanding Work And Employment: Industrial Relations In Transition, Oxford University Press, pp. 278-304 (331 ACK).

Kaur, H. (2004), Employment Attitudes: Main Findings From The British Social Attitudes Survey 2003, DTI, Employment Relations Research Series, No. 36.

Kelly, J. (1998), Rethinking Industrial Relations: Mobilization, Collectivism And Long Waves, Routledge (331 KEL).

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 5).

Kessler, S. Bayliss, F. (1998), Contemporary British Industrial Relations (3rd ed.), Macmillan (331.0942 KES – Chapter 8).

Legge, J. (2005 or 1995), Human Resource Management: Rhetoric And Reality, Macmillan (658.3 LEG – Chapter 8).

Machin, S. (2003), “Trade Union Decline, New Workplaces And New Workers”, In: Gospel, H. and Wood, S. (eds.), Representing Workers, Routledge, pp. 15-28 (331.88 GOS).

Metcalf, D. (2005), British Unions: Resurgence Or Perdition?, The Work Foundation.

McIlroy, J. (2008), “Ten Years Of New Labour: Workplace Learning, Social Partnership And Union Revitalization In Britain”, British Journal Of Industrial Relations, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 283-313 [ABSTRACT].

Millward, N., Bryson, A. and Forth, J. (2000), All Change At Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, As portrayed By The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge (331.0942 MIL – Chapter 5).

Richards, L. (2008), Union-Free America: Workers And Antiunion Culture, University of Illinois (on order).

Stewart, P. (2004), Employment, Trade Union Renewal And The Future Of Work: The Experience Of Work And Organisational Change (Future of Work), Palgrave (on order).

Waddington, J. (2006), "Why Do Members Leave? The Importance Of Retention To Trade Union Growth", Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3, 15-38 [ABSTRACT].

Welfare, S. (2005), “The View From The Shop Floor”, Employment Trends 834, IRS, pp. 26-29.

Willman, P. and Bryson, A., (2007), “Union Organization In Great Britain”, Journal Of Labor Research, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 93-115 [ABSTRACT].

Government and employment relations

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 6
Daniels – Chapter 3
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 5
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 4
Lewis et al – Chapter 6
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 3

Brinkley, I., Coats, D. and Overell, S. (2007), 7 Out Of 10: Labour Under Labour 1997-2007, The Work Foundation.

Clark, I. (1996), “The State And New Industrial Relations”, In: Beardwell, I. (1996), Contemporary Industrial Relations, OUP, pp. 37-65 (331 BEA).

Dickens, L. and Neal, A. (eds.) (2006), Changing Institutional Face Of British Employment Relations, Kluwer Law International (331 DIC).

Dunn, S. and Metcalf, D. (1996), “Trade Union Law Since 1979”, In: Beardwell, I. (1996), Contemporary Industrial Relations, OUP, pp. 66-98 (331 BEA).

Incomes Data Services (1999), Employment Relations Act 1999, Incomes Data Services Ltd (344.01 INC).

Kessler, S. Bayliss, F. (1998), Contemporary British Industrial Relations (3rd ed.), Macmillan (331.0942 KES – Chapter 4).

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 8).

Wood, S., Moore, S. and Ewing, K. (2003), “The Impact Of The Trade Union Recognition Procedure Under The Employment Relations Act, 2000-2”, In: Gospel, H. and Wood, S., Representing Workers, Routledge, pp. 119-143 (331.88 GOS).

Collective bargaining and pay determination

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 7
Daniels – Chapter 8
Hollinshead et al – Chapters 9 and 11
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 8
Lewis et al – Chapter 7

Cully, M. (1999), Britain At Work: As Depicted By The 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 CUL – Chapter 5).

Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2007), Understanding Employment Relations, McGraw-Hill (331 ROL – Chapter 9).

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 7).

Kessler, S. Bayliss, F. (1998), Contemporary British Industrial Relations (3rd ed.), Macmillan (331.0942 KES – Chapters 9 and 10).

Marginson, P., Arrowsmith, J. and Gray, M. (2008), "Undermining Or Reframing Collective Bargaining? Variable Pay In Two Sectors Compared", Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 327-346 [ABSTRACT].

Millward, N., Bryson, A. and Forth, J. (2000), All Change At Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, As portrayed By The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge (331.0942 MIL – Chapter 5 and 6).

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapters 9 and 14).

Employee involvement and participation

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 8
Daniels – Chapter 7
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 10
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 7
Lewis et al – Chapter 8
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 9

Bacon, N. and Blyton, P. (2005), “Worker Responses To Teamworking: Exploring Employee Attribution Of Managerial Motives”, International Journal Of Human Resource Management, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 238-255 [ABSTRACT].

Butler, P. and Glover, L. (2007), “Employee Participation And Involvement”, In: Claydon, T. and Beardwell, J. (eds.) Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach (5th ed.), FT, pp. 525-561 (658.3 CLA).

Cox, A., Zagelmeyer, S. and Marchington, M. (2006), “Embedding Employee Involvement And Participation At Work”, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 250-267 [ABSTRACT].

Cully, M., O’Reilly, A., Millward, N., Forth, J., Woodland, S., Dix, G. and Bryson, A. (1999), The 1998 Workplace Employee Relations Survey: First Findings, DTI.

Dix, G. and Oxenbridge. S. (2003), Information And Consultation At Work: From Challenges To Good Practice, ACAS, Research Paper 03/03.

IDS (2005), “Employee Attitude Surveys”, IDS HR Studies Plus (July), IDS.

IDS (2007), “Employee Engagement”, IDS HR Studies Update (May), IDS.

IDS (2007), “Information And Consultation Arrangements”, HR Studies (November), IDS.

IDS (2008), “Suggestion Schemes”, IDS HR Studies (April), IDS.

Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2007), Understanding Employment Relations, McGraw-Hill (331 ROL – Chapter 8).

Geary, J. and Dobbins, A. (2001), “Teamworking: A New Dynamic In The Pursuit Of Management Control”, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 3-23 [ABSTRACT].

Gospel, H. and Willman, P. (2003), “Dilemmas In Worker Representation: Information, Consultation And Negotiation”, In: Gospel, H. and Wood, S., Representing Workers, Routledge, pp. 144-165 (331.88 GOS).

Hall, M., Hutchinson, S., Parker, J., Purcell, J. and Terry, M. (2008), Implementing Information and Consultation In Medium-sized Organisations, Employment Relations Research No. 97, BERR.

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 6).

Leopold, J. (2004), “Employee Participation, Involvement And Communications”, In: Leopold, J., Harris, L. and Watson, T., (eds.) The Strategic Management Of Human Resources, FT Prentice Hall, pp. 434-460 (on order).

Marchington, M. (2001), “Involvement And Participation”, In: Storey, J. (ed.), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, Thomson, pp. 280-308 (658.3 STO).

Marchington, M. (2005), “Employee Involvement: Patterns And Expectations”, In: Harley, B., Hyman, J. and Thompson, P. (Eds.), Participation And Democracy At Work: Essays In Honour Of Harvie Ramsay, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 20-37 (658.3152 HAR).

Marchington, M. (2007), “Employee Voice Systems”, In: Boxall, P., Purcell, J. and Wright, P., The Oxford Handbook Of Human Resource Management, Oxford University Press, pp. 231-250 (658.3 BOX).

Millward, N., Bryson, A. and Forth, J. (2000), All Change At Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, As portrayed By The Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge (331.0942 MIL – Chapter 4).

Tang, T. and Butler, E. (1997), “Attributions Of Quality Circles’ Problem-Solving Failure: Differences Among Management, Supporting Staff, And Quality Circle Members, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 203-225 [ABSTRACT].

Wilkinson, A., Dundon, T. and Grugulis, I. (2007), “Information But Not Consultation: Exploring Employee Involvement In SMEs, International Journal Of Human Resource Management, Vol. 18, No. 7, pp. 1279-1297 [ABSTRACT].

Strikes and industrial conflict

Blyton and Turnbull – Chapter 10
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 8
Hollinshead et al – Chapter 15
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 9

Buttigieg, D., Deery, S. and Iverson, R. (2008), “Union Mobilization: A Consideration Of The Factors Affecting The Willingness Of Members To Take Strike Action”, British Journal Of Industrial Relations, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 248-267 [ABSTRACT].

CIPD (2008), Mediation: An Employer's Guide, CIPD.

Collinson, D.L. and Ackroyd, S. (2005), “Resistance, Misbehaviour, And Dissent”, In: Ackroyd, S., Batt, R., Thompson, P. and Tolbert, P.S. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook Of Work And Organization, Oxford University, pp. 305-326 (301.183 ACK).

Crail, M. (2005), Beyond Dispute? Prospects For Workplace Peace In Our Time, Employment Review 824, IRS, pp. 9-13.

Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2007), Understanding Employment Relations, McGraw-Hill (331 ROL – Chapter 11).

Jackson, M. P. (1987), Strikes, Wheatsheaf (331JAC).

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 8).

Kessler, S. Bayliss, F. (1998), Contemporary British Industrial Relations (3rd ed.), Macmillan (331.0942 KES – Chapter 11).

Hale, D. (2008), “International Comparisons Of Labour Disputes In 2006, Economic & Labour Market Review, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 32-39.

Hale, D. (2008), “Labour Disputes In 2007”, Economic & Labour Market Review, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp 18-29.

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 11).

Spicer, A. and Bohm, S. (2007), “Moving Management: Theorizing Struggles Against The Hegemony Of Management”, Organization Studies, Vol. 28 No. 11, pp. 1677-1698 [ABSTRACT].

Discipline and grievance

Daniels – Chapters 9 and 11
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 11
Lewis et al – Chapter 9
Williams and Adam-Smith – Chapter 9

Edwards, P. (2007), Justice In The Workplace: Why It Is Important And Why A New Public Policy Initiative Is Needed, The Work Foundation.

IDS (2007), “Disciplinary Procedures”, IDS HR Studies (December), IDS.

Kersley, B., Oxenbridge, S., Dix, G., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., Forth, J. and Alpin, C. (2006), Inside The Workplace: Findings From The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, Routledge (331.0942 KER – Chapter 8).

Newman, D. (2006), “Statutory Grievance Procedures”, Employment Trends (21 July), pp. 51-60.

Pilbeam, S. and Corbridge, M. (2006), People Resourcing: Contemporary HRM In Practice, FT Prentice Hall (658.3 PIL – Chapter 17).

Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2007), Understanding Employment Relations, McGraw-Hill (331 ROL – Chapter 6).

Salamon, M. (2000), Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 12 and 15).

Welfare, S. (2006), “Grievances And Discipline: Taking A Proactive Approach”, Employment Trends (23 June), pp. 8-15.

Dismissal, redundancy and tribunals

Daniels – Chapters 9 and 11
Gennard and Judge – Chapter 12
Lewis et al – Chapters 11 and 12

ACAS (2007), ACAS Annual Report And Accounts 2006/7, ACAS.

Burgess, S., Propper, C. and Wilson, D. (2001), Explaining The Growth In The Number Of Tribunal Applications To Industrial Tribunals, 1972-1997, DTI, Employment Relations Research Series No. 10.

IDS (2007), “Managing Redundancy”, IDS HR Studies Plus (December), IDS.

Rollinson, D. and Dundon, T. (2007), Understanding Employment Relations, McGraw-Hill (331 ROL – Chapter 7).

Employment Tribunals (2007), Employment Tribunal And EAT Statistics (GB) 1 April 2006 To March 2007, Employment Tribunals.

Heap, D. (2004), “Redundancies In The UK”, Labour Market Trends, Vol. 112, No. 5, pp 195-201.

Pilbeam, S. and Corbridge, M. (2006), People Resourcing: Contemporary HRM In Practice, FT Prentice Hall (658.3 PIL – Chapters 18 and 19).

Salamon, M. (2000) Industrial Relations: Theory & Practice (4th ed.), Prentice Hall (331 SAL – Chapter 12 and 15).

Walsh, D. and Bott, D. (2004), “Parting Company: The Strategic Responsibility Of Exit Management”, In: Leopold, J., Harris, L. and Watson, T., (eds.) The Strategic Management Of Human Resources, FT Prentice Hall, pp. 238-266 (on order).

Additional learning resources

In addition to the core reading and list of resources by subject area there are a number of additional resources worth exploring.

They include:

Weblog and VISION

Journals

Textbooks

Trade journals and other Web-resources

Also consider a wide range of recommended resources found on the right-hand tool bar (you may have to scroll down someway to see all resources that are available).

Journals

The following academic journals regularly feature research articles on the subject of employment relations - details of all paper and electronice journals accessible via the library can be found here.

If you wish to access such journals off campus you will need to obtain an Athens Password – see any library assistant or click here.

Please note some journals may not be available off campus (even if you have an Athens Password) and you should not neglect journals that are easier to access than others.

British Journal of Industrial Relations
Economic and Labour Market Review
Employee Relations
Human Resource Management International Digest
Human Resource Management Journal
Human Resource Management Review
Human Relations
IDS Brief (paper only periodical)
IDS Employment Law Brief (paper only periodical)
IDS HR Studies (paper only periodical)
IDS Studies (paper only periodical)
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Industrial Relations
Industrial Relations Journal
International Journal of Human Resource Management
IRS Employment Review (paper only periodical)
Journal of Labor Research
Journal of Management Studies
Labour Market Trends
Labor History
Labor Studies Journal
New Technology, Work and Employment
Organizational Studies (paper only periodical)
People Management (CIPD)
Personnel Journal
Personnel Management
Personnel Psychology
Personnel Review
Public Personnel Management
Work, Employment and Society

Weblog and VISION

Continuing on-line support is available via the course weblog and other support material can be downloaded from VISION.

You are expected to consult the following weblog on a regular basis.

To prevent missing out on important information you should register for email alerts when you first visit the weblog (you may use an email address of your choice).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my course weblogs, I suggest you familiarise yourself with it as soon as possible.

I will post messages on a regular basis, particular before and after lectures and tutorials, on a variety of subjects that could include directions to extra-learning material, comments on class performance, asking for feedback on classes, responding to student queries, etc.

Use VISION for downloadable copies of, for example, course guide, tutorial workbook, lecture overhead slides, policy documents, etc.

Textbooks

Other textbooks that cover the main themes of this course (note: some of these books may have sections that are out-of-date, some may cover more parts of the course than others, and there will also be useful books not on the list in the library too) are:

Alonso, L.E. and Martinez Lucio, M. (2006), Employment Relations In A Changing Society: Assessing The Post-Fordist Paradigm, Palgrave (331.1ALO).

Beaumont, P. B. (1995), The Future Of Employment Relations, Sage (331 BEA).

Blyton, P., Heery, E. Bacon, N. and Fiorito, J. (2008), The SAGE Handbook Of Industrial Relations, Sage (on order).

Danford, A., Richardson, M., Stewart, P. Tailby, S. and Upchurch, M. (2005), Partnership And The High Performance Workplace: Work And Employment Relations In The Aerospace Industry, Palgrave (on order).

Farnham, D. and Pimlott. J. (1995), Understanding Industrial Relations (5th ed.), Cassell (331 FAR).

Gospel, H. and Palmer, G. (1993), British Industrial Relations, Routledge (331.0942 GOS).

Jackson, M. P. (1991), An Introduction To Industrial Relations, Routledge (331 JAC)

McLoughlin, I. and Gourlay, S. (1994), Enterprise Without Unions: Industrial Relations In The Non-Union Firm, OU Press (331.04 MCL).

Morley, M., Gunnigle, P. and Collings, D. (Eds.) (2006), Global Industrial Relations, Routledge (331MOR).

Trade journals and other Web-resources

Studying and working in the field of employment relations requires keeping up-to-date with the latest news from a range of employment relations and HRM-orientated trade journals.

If you are serious about pursuing a professional career in the field of employment relations or human resource management (as a practitioner, researcher or labour activist) you should regularly consult (ideally take a subscription) the CIPD’s People Management magazine.

An alternative strategy would be to regularly consult some or all of the following employment relations and HRM-orientated Web-sites:

The Scotsman - Office & Workplace
The Guardian - Work
Financial Times - Management
The Times - Jobs
Personnel Today - Employee Relations
TUC - Worksmart
Hazards - Health and Safety
LabourStart - Trade Union News

Articles from these sources should not form the main basis of your reading on the subject of employment relations, but they are valuable resources in terms of up-to-date and background information, as well as useful information to use for job interviews.

Consider book-marking such sites, signing up for news e-mail alerts or subscribe to RSS feeds where available (see right-hand tool bar on this blog for some ideas).

Past exam papers

Answer any THREE questions.

All questions are equally weighted.

You have 2 hours for this exam.

March 2008

1) To what extent is the long-term decline of strike activity indicative of a broad acceptance by employees of management agendas?

2) Critically discuss the role of the wider PEST environment in shaping the nature of contemporary employment relations.

3) Assess the main causes for the decline in British trade union memberships since 1979.

4) Critically evaluate recent trends in employee participation and employee involvement. Why have employee participation initiatives declined at a time when employee involvement initiatives have become more popular?

5) Discuss the employment relations legislation introduced by Labour governments since 1997. How does the approach of the Labour governments differ from the approach taken by the Conservative governments from 1979 and 1997?

March 2007

1) Assess whether unitarism is the more appropriate way to think about contemporary employment relationships. Explain your answer providing comparison with other competing theoretical perspectives.

2) Critically assess how changes in the PEST environment in the past 25 years have had an effect on how employment relations are currently conducted.

3)Evaluate current opportunities for trade unions to recover some of their influence on employment relations matters against the factors that may threaten any such recovery.

4) Critically review the causes for the decline of employee participation initiatives noted in the Workplace Employment Relations Series 1980 to 2004.

5) Critically evaluate whether the long-term decline of strike activity provides sufficient evidence that conflict between employers and workers is no longer an important feature of contemporary employment relations.

August 2006

1) Assess the main reasons for the decline of trade union membership in Britain since 1979.

2) Analyse the main philosophical differences between employee participation and employee involvement

3) Explain why it may be misleading to equate low levels of strike activity with industrial harmony.

4) Why have employers favoured the decentralisation of collective bargaining since 1984?

5) Appraise how Labour governments have regulated British employment relations since 1997.

March 2006

1) “The difficulties of the trade union movement in the new millennium are certainly considerable, yet at the same time not insurmountable” (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004: 169). Evaluate the chances trade unions have of recovering some of their losses in the next 10-20 years.

2) How have Labour governments since 1997 sought to regulate employment relations? Base your assessment on the extent to which Labour policies relate to, or differ from, Conservative government policy 1979 to 1997.

3) Analyse the major changes in collective bargaining since 1980.

4) According to a widely accepted analysis of the Workplace Industrial Relations Survey series, there has been a major shift from collective, representative, indirect and union-based voice, to direct, non-union channels. Why in recent years have employers and managers preferred employee involvement initiatives over employer participation arrangements?

5) Critically evaluate the merit of official strike statistics as an index of industrial conflict.

August 2005

1) According to Blyton and Turnbull (1998) ‘the context of employee relations should not be seen as determining the precise nature of employee relations, but they have helped shape those relations’.

Using real life examples, explain how Blyton and Turnbull might have arrived at this proposition.

2) What are the main reasons for the decline in union membership since 1979?

3) Outline the key features of Employment Relations Act 1999.

Assess the value of this piece of legislation in relation to Britain’s trade union movement.

4) Explain whilst giving examples why employers have favoured the decentralisation of collective bargaining since 1984.

5) Critically consider the decline in official strike action since 1979.

March 2005

1) A Marxist (or radical) perspective is said to ‘emphasise the asymmetry of power between employer and employee’ (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004: 34).

Explain why an emphasis on an inherent power disparity between employer and employee can enhance understandings of employment relations.

2) Illustrate and then consider why it may be irresponsible to equate the decline of officially recorded strikes with a decline of industrial conflict.

3) Outline and evaluate the advantages that managers can derive from collective bargaining.

4) What are the main philosophical differences between employee participation and employee involvement (40 per cent of awarded marks)?

Consider why employers may favour employee involvement initiatives over employee participation initiatives (60 per cent of awarded marks).

5) Assess the future implications for British industry if no coherent system of human resource management or employment relations emerges to replace the former reliance on collective bargaining.

March 2004

1) Outline the key features of one of the three major theoretical perspectives and then evaluate the extent to which it can help us understand employment relations.

2) Outline the key features of non-union and anti-union management strategies in regard of employment relations practices.

Assess the degree of difference between the two.

3) Which social groups are most likely to be members of trade unions?

Give reasons for your answers.

4) Distinguish the main benefits of employee involvement initiatives and assess their value in the maintaining constructive employment relations.

5) Explain why it would be misleading to suggest that low levels of strike activity or other forms of formal industrial protest are not necessarily synonymous with industrial harmony.