The Future Direction of Employee Relations Essay

“ The recent work stoppage by Royal Mail workers has been unhelpful and will make nil to work out the company ‘s jobs. ” Critically discourse this statement by doing mention to allow theories.

The Royal Mail ( RM ) is the national postal service for the United Kingodm, it was founded in 1666, and is a public limited company owned by the British authorities, in affect a Quango. ‘The RM is responsible for cosmopolitan mail aggregation and bringing in the UK. Letterss are deposited in a pillar or wall box, taken to a station office, or collected in majority from concerns. Deliveries are made at least one time every twenty-four hours except Sundays and Bank Holidays at unvarying charges for all finishs within the UK. It was non until 2006 that the RM lost its 350 twelvemonth monopoly ‘ ( Wikipedia 2010 ) . A twelvemonth subsequently Industrial action took topographic point over wage, conditions and pensions. This action was repeated more late in 2009. In this essay I will touch on the chief grounds for this industrial action by postal workers and discourse whether or non it will assist RM ‘s jobs, looking deeper into the administrations construction and civilization.

For old ages as the RM operated within a monopoly it was a good beginning of income for the Government of the twenty-four hours, due to this over the decennaries all net incomes were creamed away and reinvestment ne’er took topographic point to assist modernize the RM. While globalization meant the universe around the UK was everlastingly germinating, planetary postal services were emerging with more high-tech and profitable services, profiting from larger economic systems of graduated table. These two factors combined meant when the postal market became derestricted in 2006 RM had a batch of catching up to make with and no money to make it with ; taking to a moving ridge of cost film editing by RM as they tried to go competitory, going more machine-controlled and cutting occupations.

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If you look back through RM ‘s history non much has changed about how the administration is structured, how they operate and their civilization as an iconic British service. They have their ain station boxes, their ain hallmark coloring material and trade name, these have remained changeless for decades…that is up until late. Equally shortly as RM came into contact with the full consequence of globalization in the signifier of transnational cross Continental efficient postal services, civilization and construction took a back place. Run now by directors looking for fillips and seeking to increase fight, employee dealingss became labored as disenchantment and struggles of involvement became evident between workers and direction.

‘Globalisation is the impression that states are going economically, politically, technologically and culturally closer to each other. ‘ ( Knights and Willmott 2007: 538 ) Over the last two decades the cyberspace and bettering engineering has enabled planetary communicating to be instantaneous ; this enables administrations and people to direct information across the Earth free and rapidly. This causes administrations such as RM a job and reduced demand for postal services, whereas houses outside the UK have adjusted to this and increased their efficiency and bringing velocity, RM has been in the rock age for far to hanker, with resources outdated and disused. However on the other manus globalization has swept in a new epoch of online shopping, these goods bought on-line demand to make their purchasers, so bundle and parcel bringing demand has increased, its now up to RM to accommodate to the new market demands, by restructuring and altering their decennaries of civilization.

Management patterns changed as new ends and aims were formed, ‘this put force per unit area on traditional direction manners. Organizational constructions and civilizations are going progressively complex, worsening challenges of co-ordination. Boundaries between professional specializations are going blurred, perplexing determination procedures ‘ . ( Suddaby, 2008:2 ) .

Organizational civilization provides significances for everyday organizational events, thereby cut downing the sum of cognitive processing and energy members need to use throughout the twenty-four hours. An organisations civilization can be something it ‘has ‘ or something it ‘is ‘ . Management can utilize an administrations civilization to steer workers into doing rational determinations. Smircich ( 1983:343 ) said that ‘a civilization is something an administration has ‘ . In kernel Smircich believed that if an administration had a positive civilization that was in line with an administration ‘s aims, employee ‘s picks sing an administration ‘s procedures would go rational. It would make an individuality that all employees belong to and work for instead than against, leting directors to maneuver employees in a chosen way. RM ‘has ‘ an engineered civilization. ( Jackson and Carter 2000:27 ) . Within a mainstream construction directors at the top are believed to enforce values that ‘rule out peculiar classs of action or contract the scope of options for a determination ‘ ( Knights and Willmott, 2007:348 ) . The wide option or viing perspective on organizational civilization is that civilization is something that an administration ‘is ‘ . Meek ( 1988:459 ) said ‘most anthropologists would happen the thought that leaders create civilization absurd: leaders ( harmonizing to anthropology ) do non make civilization, it emerges from the corporate societal interaction of groups and communities. ‘ RM believe a ‘has’type of civilization will necessarily better their bottom line.

However by commanding workers actions and behavior by implementing a civilization, RM has left workers without a manner of showing any dissatisfaction without taking group action, they feel they have to ‘put up and close up ‘ . A deficiency of picks for workers is what was intended by RM to increase productiveness and diminish the sum of determinations made by workers ; nevertheless this has backfired as workers become so disgruntled it leads to ultimatums between RM and the Communication Workers Union ( CWU ) and hence strike action. Striking is a last resort nevertheless because of lost income for the workers and a damaging consequence on relationships with both employers and clients. However workers have demands, both fiscal and psychological that has to be fulfilled to wish to work. Therefore if workers are dissatisfied industrial action and work stoppages will take topographic point. Peters and Waterman are steadfast believes in ‘is ‘ civilizations and summed up their positions on the ‘has ‘ position by saying ‘All that material you have been disregarding for so long as the intractable, irrational, intuitive, informal administration can be managed. Clearly, it has every bit much or more to make with the manner things work ( or do n’t ) around your companies as the formal constructions and schemes do ‘ . ( Peters and Waterman, 1982:11 ) RM has put excessively much accent on commanding their civilization ; as opposed to listening to their work force and gaining it does non work.

On the other manus as Meek stated earlier, it may non be entirely RM ‘s directors mistake, an organisations civilization is besides decided by the employees. ‘Culture is shared between organisational members ; it is seen to supply a “ natural ” force for societal integrating ‘ ( Meek, 1998, 455 ) . If hence RM ‘s workers portion some of the duty for RM ‘s civilization today, should they be taking strike action and would this non do it worse? Yet this negative civilization felt by RM ‘s workers is precisely why they are taking work stoppage action they are non happy with the ‘modernisation ‘ civilization, thrust upon them by direction. If they are so partly responsible and now that the state of affairs has gone out of their control and non to their liking so traveling on work stoppage, so they are doing the state of affairs worse. Striking for the interest of recovering control would be bad for RM as a whole, both employers and employees likewise. It makes them more unproductive magnifying the state of affairs. In 1973 Pettigrew stated that he thought political relations and bureaucratism was every bit much a portion of an administration as it was society and authorities. In which instance jobs within an administration are rather perchance inevitable, nevertheless by coercing alterations in civilization upon workers and pin downing them RM direction have made it worse.

From a workers prospective if they see the administration they work for printing net incomes that have doubled over a twelvemonth, they are traveling to experience they need counterbalancing. Workers feel RM ‘s determinations and civilization alterations have cost them occupation security, flexible hours, wage and quality of life. Therefore they would strike to contend for a better trade. However this could merely be workers being unreasonable and greedy. If we look at it from RM ‘s point of position, they have produced increased net incomes, does this non hence intend that the administration is working right and expeditiously and that the imposed civilization by direction has worked. Therefore should RM alteration at all, if it is working and they are going competitory, in the long run the workers will gain their occupations are safer with a more productive administration. Meaning the work stoppages are non work outing the companies jobs but doing them worse.

Organizational construction is defined as ‘the ways in which it divides its labor into distinguishable undertakings and so achieves coordination between them ‘ ( Mintzberg, 1979:2 ) . Because RM has been set in its ways for so long non holding to alter its construction it has become excess. It ‘s hard seting to altering times and a faster gait of concern. Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of RM is reported as stating in an article by the Guardian Online, “ Change is hard for everyone but Royal Mail has no alternate but to alter and modernize if it is to vie in today ‘s extremely competitory communications market and maintain on presenting the postal service on which so many depend, ” ( Thursday 10 December 2009 ) . This shows merely how much the RM must alter to vie with rivals if the chef executive is publicly admiting it.

RM has a really top heavy construction and the balance of power in unevenly distributed so all the power is at the top and the workers get small say in anything, this is a really classical attack to organizational construction. This makes workers feel like they get the natural terminal of the trade, and resent direction. Organizational constructions are defined by ‘the ways in which it divides its labor into distinguishable undertakings and so achieves coordination between them ‘ ( Mintzberg, 1979:2 ) . As RM is so mechanical in its operations a hierarchal and administrative construction would work good. However if the construction was changed and distribution of power more balanced, this would non merely affect construction of RM but besides the civilization as employees would experience they have more duty, and hence one time given more duty work harder. RM has a really top heavy construction and the balance of power in unevenly distributed so all the power is at the top and the workers get small say in anything, this is a really classical attack to organizational construction. This makes workers feel like they get the natural terminal of the trade, and resent direction. Organizational constructions are defined by ‘the ways in which it divides its labor into distinguishable undertakings and so achieves coordination between them ‘ ( Mintzberg, 1979:2 ) . As RM is so mechanical in its operations a hierarchal and administrative construction would work good. However if the construction was changed and distribution of power more balanced, this would non merely affect construction of RM but besides the civilization as employees would experience they have more duty, and hence one time given more duty work harder.

‘Economists have long focused attending on work stoppages as authoritative illustrations of dislocation in corporate bargaining. A work stoppage can be viewed as an investing – giving up of current resources in the hope of deriving larger returns in the hereafter ‘ ( Davidson et al. 1988:387 ) . By striking they hope RM will run into their demands and by making so they will work more fruitfully and hence they argue RM net incomes and fight should be maintained. This leads into the instance of globalization, while construction and civilization of RM are of import ; lasting in a now free market is the purpose of the game. Firms such as FedEx and DHL have been able to turn unhampered and with investing for old ages, leting them to profit from greater economic systems of graduated table and more efficient services. Strikes and hapless service in 2007 led to RM fring its 2nd largest contract with Amazon, this shows how work stoppages can do RM ‘s jobs to acquire worse. Amazon would now hold the chance to travel to a rival to present its packages, viing straight with Parcel Force worldwide, RM ‘s package bringing service. As ‘competition between houses is progressively vigorous the balance is disturbed between commercial and ethical / professional values ‘ ( Hitt et al, 2006: 43 ) . When RM realised it had to go more competitory, it cut costs to be able to offer lower monetary values. This cost film editing led to a restructuring and investing in machinery such as screening machines that caused the redundancy of about 30,000 occupations. This may be considered unethical nevertheless it does increase RM ‘s fight and hence secures the occupations of all the remainder of the workers.

RM state of affairs is out of its control in many respects, chiefly due to the authoritiess mishandling of the administration when it was province owned. Every administration during a recession is looking to be cut RM is no different, but they do so to last to enable others to maintain their occupations and one time concern choices up they can rehire people. RM would reason that wage rises are non possible as it would intend more redundancies, nevertheless it is interesting that RM ‘s main executive Adam Crozier is on the highest pay of any authorities employed single outside the banking sector, e.g. Northern Rock and RBS. Workers can be perceived as portion of the job as they ask for higher rewards and better conditions in a clip when RM has to concentrate on disbursement less money and being more efficient. The timing is the worst possible. By come ining into the statement now and RM expectedly stating no to most of the demands, it forced the CWU to take industrial action, as they were left with no option. At the clip on dialogues the media was really divided but given the environmental factors of the economic system one time RM put an offer on the tabular array, support shifted towards the RM non the CWU, is was written ‘that the brotherhood should accept the “ absolutely just and sensible ” offer which was on the tabular array and return to work. Warning the row will do “ irreparable harm ” to the Royal Mail if it goes on. ‘ ( London Evening Standard, 11th October 2007 ) .

CWU industrial action will do higher costs for RM and so hence more cost film editing steps will hold to be taken to reimburse the losingss ; get downing a barbarous rhythm that does non profit either the workers or RM. If the work force took a more positive stance and worked harder, being more productive, increasing public presentation so the RM will hold more money from increased gross to reinvest in restructuring and enlargement, leting more occupations, better wage and working conditions.

The RM has been hit merely every bit much as any other administration during the recent recession but they have besides had to cover with external factors out of their control such as globalization, modernization, and increased competition on all service lines from packages to couriered postage. Therefore restructuring undertaken is apprehensible and the best thing for RM as a whole, if they did non alter their construction they would non be able to be as an administration. You could travel every bit far as to state without their tight clasp on RM ‘s civilization they could be bring forthing much more inefficiently, and be in a much worse quandary. It has nevertheless backfired, and workers are justly angry and experience undervalued for the difficult work they do. Culture in an administration is a span between direction and workers, and it needs to be formed every bit instead than dictated, therefore both parties get what they need.

RM has written to its workers and the CWU, explicating the state of affairs and inquiring if workers would mind traveling to different locations, places or countries of the concern, or take redundancy. “ We want to work with our people so that we take into account their wants and penchants as Royal Mail continue to overhaul and transform its operations to run into the challenges of falling mail volumes and escalating competition. In making so, still holding to spread out with globalization as it is portion of the nature of the market ” ( The Telegraph – Finance, 6th February 2009 ) . Despite this attempt industrial action still took topographic point and this causes jobs with both the fundss and public trust in the service RM provides.

The work stoppage in 2009 was non the first by any agencies, as there have been many work stoppages over the old ages ; it demonstrates that there are serious underlying jobs with both the construction and civilization of the RM. The CWU ever give the same grounds and demands, approximately better working conditions and higher wage, they are non traveling to continually travel on work stoppage unless it was something they believed in. Chapman states that direction ‘often neglect to larn from past errors and hence continue to reiterate evitable mistakes ‘ ( Chapman, 2003:96 ) . This is grounds of a hapless construction and civilization within an administration, that communicating is so hapless yesteryear errors are non recognised and avoided. Unfortunately the work stoppages make the state of affairs worse in the short tally ; they cause break that leads to loss of assurance in services and hence contracts and gross to rivals. This builds up and will non assist in the long tally when more occupation losingss are caused by cost film editing, paying for work stoppages. However dramatic is now the lone manner to be heard by direction at RM, they have formed a civilization with such a clasp there is no avenue for treatment or feedback on workers experiences. ‘Long term committedness and motive on the portion of workers will be more likely to be secured if direction are prepared to offer occupations that are stable, good paid, interesting and 1s in which employees ‘ positions are adequately represented ‘ ( Blyton & A ; Turnbull, 2004:365 ) .

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