Essay on Human Resource Management and Employee Relations

How to write essay on Human Resource Management and Employee Relations


Human resource management (HRM) is the wider concept that involves several other fields also (Kim & Bae, 2017). Thus, employee relation (ER) is one of such type of field in HRM. In accordance with the given context, it can be said that HRM is the type of formal system which is used to manage people who are working within the organization.
However, on the other hand,employment relation is the practice of establishing a cordial relationship between employers and employees. Both HRM and ER have a different approach but their major focus is upon the people who work in the organization. Here, with an aim to maintain cordial relationship between employees trade union tend to play a very significant role. There are some nations which give importance to the concept of a trade union in maintaining employee relation. On the other hand, some nations that think that trade union does not play a much vital role in employment relation.
Among all Australia is one of such type of nation wherein Trade Union Membership has declined significantly since 1980’s. This is because there are many Australian firms that believe that trade union is an irrelevant actor in maintaining employment relation. In the current essay, the major light will be thrown in the given aspect. In this context, at first brief introduction will be given regarding role of a trade union in employment relation.
In addition to this, this essay will also showcase different perspective on employment relation. This essay will also specify the reasons why trade union has become an irrelevant actor in Australia employment relation. Further, here critical discussion will also carry out on antecedents and consequences that are associated with trade union membership.

Trade Union And Its Role

According to the viewpoint of Williams Abbott &Heery (2017) trade union is also called by the name of an association of workers which works to provide benefit to them. On the other hand, Ng (2017) has depicted that trade union is the organization which represents the problem of workers in front of higher level management. The trade union has a very significant role within the firm.
In accordance with the given context, Greer & Doellgast (2017) have depicted that trade union performs collective bargaining for the workers. Trade union represents the interest of workers and in case if they have any kind of problem in relation to the type of decision taken by the higher level management of firm then in the given circumstances trade union takes a stand and fight for the benefits of workers.
However, it has been critically evaluated by Regalia & Regini (2018) that trade union not only resolves organizational issues of workers but it also assist in their personal issues. For example, in case if any worker is facing issue with the working environment and salary etc then in such situation also trade union take a significant step and will make effort for resolving the same in an effectual way.
Thus, it is by complying with the given type of activity only trade union assists in developing the cordial and effective relationship between employer and employees. The given thing will tend to provide benefit to the enterprise in the form of increased profit and sales.

Employment Relation Perspectives

In order to improve the knowledge about employment relation, it is very important to understand different perspectives which are associated with the same. The first perspective is unitarist. This perspective is based on the assumption that both management, as well as workers, have common goals and they work in harmony. In this context, Arrow smith (2018) has depicted that trade union does not play any kind of role in those firms which comply with unitarist perspective. This is due to the fact that the role of trade union came into existence when there is conflict in the objectives of both management and workers. In addition, this perspective presumes that conflict is bad for the firm and it should be resolved by using coercive manner.
Besides this, pluralist is being regarded as another type of perspective. This perspective presumes that firms are made up of different divergent and powerful subgroupand here each group has their own legitimate loyalties. The two sub-groups which operate in respective perspective are trade union and management. This thing indicates that the respective perspective gives importance to trade union. In this regard, Atzeni (2017) has stated that organization that follows pluralist approach faces more issues in relation to organizational conflict than others. This is due to the fact that both groups have their own aims and objectives. Thus, it is because of this only lack of harmony is being seen between both groups. This leads to the conflicting situation within the firm.
In addition to this, here trade union influences the decision which is being taken by the organization. Rimell (2018) has critically evaluated that having a trade union in the firm is good for the worker but bad for the management of the organization. This is because, there are some decisions which are relating to salary, bonus and compensation etc which need to be taken by management after considering the condition of the firm. But, management is failed to comply with the concept due to the influence of trade union.
Furthermore, another perspective of employment relation is Marxist. It is much broader in terms of scope. This perspective analyzes industrial relation in a different type of terms such as organizational, social, political and economic etc. For example, this perspective believes any kind of changes in these terms will lead to giving rise to the industrial conflicts. Thus, here this perspective puts its major focus upon the conflicts which happen within an enterprise.

Reasons behind decline in trade union membership

From the above-conducted analysis, it is correct to say that the kind of role which trade union plays totally depends upon the type of perspective which is being followed by the organization. In this context, it is examined that there is a significant decline is being seen in the trade union membership in Australia since the 1980s. The data which is given by Australian Bureau of Statistics 2000 states that the number of trade union membership has dropped to 28% of total workforce.
The figure which is given above depict about declining trend of trade union membership in Australia. In the year 1961 blue collar workers took effective participation in trade union membership. But, in the year 2016 this figure has declined. Furthermore, as per the report of Australian union it is examined that union membership in Australia has declined drastically. The private union membership figure fell from 11.1 % to 9.3% (Union membership hits record low, 2017).
It is a matter of concern for those workers who work in Australian firms. In this regard, there are several reasons examined behind the decline in the membership of trade union in Australia. Herein, according to the viewpoint of Tholen (2017) change is the type of employment is being regarded as one of the significant reason or antecedents behind decline in the trade union membership in the nation. Herein, it is identified that nowadays people are giving much importance to the part-time employment. It is the reason why membership of trade union is declining in Australia. This is because; the type of problems which workers face during full-time employment is more than the part-time employment.
However, it has been critically evaluated by Calveley (2017)that the concept of part time employment will not work much because of the salary issues. Here, it is examined that an individual cannot earn that much of salary through part time job which it can earn through full time. Thus, again the given thing will lead to give rise to conflicts and as a result of it the need of trade union will be arises in front of manager of an organization.
Besides this, Williams, Abbott &Heery (2017) have depicted that change in the type of industry can be considered as another significant factor for the decline in the membership of trade union in the nation. Herein, the concept of a trade union is originated from a public limited firm that always thinks for the benefits of workers. However, nowadays popularity of private limited companies is increasing that follows the completely different type of approach with an aim to resolve the issue which is being faced by the workers who are working within the organization.
In addition to this, Greer & Doellgast (2017) have stated that the introduction of Accord in the enterprise is being regarded as another antecedent behind the significant decline in the membership of trade union. Thus, it is essential for the managers of Australian firms that they should take significant action with regard to the specific aspect. This is because; if not take then the consequences of the same could hamper the smooth going work of the organization.

Critically analyzing consequences of decline in trade union membership

In this context, different consequences in relation to the decline in the trade union membership in Australia identified. As per the viewpoint of Regalia & Regini (2018) decline in the membership of trade union will have a positive effect on the management of Australian organization because in this situation they have more control overbusiness. In this context, it is examined that trade union tends to interfere in each and every decision which is being made by management. Further, it always tries to contradict the decisions which are being made by the manager of Australian enterprise. This thing can be controlled if workers resist joining trade union membership.
However, it has been critically evaluated by the Williams (2017) decline in the membership of trade union will have a negative impact on those workers who are not able to represent their opinions in front of management. Trade union plays the role of spokesperson within the firm and as a result of this, it takes to stand against all the unnecessary activities which happen within the organization.
Thus, due to decline in the membership of trade union, there are chances that organization will remove them completely. If this will happen then satisfaction level of those employees will be impacted who are totally dependent upon them in an effectual way. Furthermore, the impact of the same will also have on smooth going work of enterprise. This is due to the fact that success of any firm totally depends upon its employees. Thus, the enterprise can work well in the market if its workers feel highly satisfied and motivated.
In addition to this, according to the viewpoint of Rimell (2018) decline in the membership of trade union in Australia will give the opportunity to firm to concentrate upon another most important factor that is related with worker’s employment growth. Herein, it has been seen that trade union always puts its major focus on the issues relating to salary, working condition, and bonus etc. Thus, in this way, it wastes lots of time of the manager of the organization. Thus, in the absence of trade union, Australian firms can put their major focus upon on the issues relating to workers as well as firm overall growth.
Thus, it is in this way only positive effect can be gained due to the absence of trade union from the firm. On contrary to this, Tholen (2017) has depicted that absence of trade union will lead to increase the power of the management of the firm and as a result of it, they will take some ineffective decision which leads to cause negative impact upon the workers who are working within enterprises. Furthermore, the given thing will lead to hampering the employment relationship between employer and employees. As a result of this consequence relating to strike and lockout will be increased within enterprises (Atzeni, 2017).
In addition to this, with the help of trade union workers can fulfill all their needs and demands in an effectual manner. As per Evolution theory of trade union of industrial democracy, the main work of trade union is to bring democracy in the environment of industry. Here, its main purpose is to protect worker from industrial dictatorship. Thus, if declining trends will be more then significant impact of the same will be on workers.


From the given essay it can be concluded that trade union tends to have both negative and positive impact on the organization. Here, it has its major benefit for the workers who workers within organization. However, trade union always opposes management of firm and thus it always imposes negative effect on the management of firm. In addition to this, the objective of trade union is to protect workers from all the decisions which are taken by management against them. Thus, it does not work in terms of maintaining cordial relationship between employer and employee.

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