Roles of actors in industrial relations
Roles of actors in industrial relations

Industrial relations can be defined as the relationships and interactions within an industry, particularly between workers and management, which are the result of an integrated perspective and approach to managing industrial affairs to improve industries and industries as well as management and workers. In this article we discuss Role of three actors in industrial relations, and what are the roles played by the actors of industrial relations.

The term industrial relations describes the relationship that is directly or indirectly connected to the relationship between the union and the employer. Industrial relations are relations in the industry created by the diverse and complex attitudes of managers and workers about industrial management.

The term actors in industrial relations was proposed by John Dunlop’s Industrial Relations Systems (1958). He proposed that three parties playing a major role in industrial relations are employers, labor unions, and government. These are the key actors in a modern industrial relations system.

The actors in industrial relations are the following

Traditionally, industrial relations was the concern of ensuring good sound relationships between the employer and employees. The three principal actors are workers and their unions, employers, and the government.

Below we evaluate the Roles of employees in industrial relations and Roles of employers in industrial relations to give you a full understanding of everything you must know about the three actors in industrial relations.

1. Employees

Among the participants in industrial relations, the employees are the most affected by the IR system within the organization. Employees with various characteristics, such as commitment to work and organization, educational background and social background, and attitude toward management, influence and are affected by industrial relations systems.

Employees generally see industrial relations as a means to improve employment conditions, challenge complaints, exchange opinions and ideas with management, and participate in the organization’s decision-making process.

Employees participate in the industrial relations system through their associations or trade unions. The evidence so far suggests that unions play a key role in making his industrial relations system effective or ineffective. Trade unions are seen as a tool for extracting concessions from employers due to their strong political and emotional components.

About their role in industrial relations, they work to achieve the following objectives:

  • Restoring bargaining advantage via one-on-one basis, that is, individual workers versus individual employers through collective or collective action.
  • To ensure better working and employment conditions for its members.
  • To improve the status of workers at work.
  • Strengthening democratic decision-making at various levels
  • Nonetheless, various factors such as union membership, attitudes towards management, competition between unions, and national and regional strengths determine the union’s role in influencing the industrial relations system within an organization.

2. Employers

Employers are second parties to the industrial relations in a corporate organization, employers are represented by the management thus, management becomes accountable to various stakeholders within the organization, including employees. Management should view industrial relations in terms of the following employee-management relationships: Motivate and maintain employee motivation.

  • Ensure employee engagement.
  • Achieve higher efficiency.
  • Negotiation of working conditions with employee representatives.
  • The main purposes of employers’ associations related to industrial relations are to:
  • Develop mechanisms to avoid conflict.
  • Provide feedback on employee relations.
  • Advise member organizations on industrial relations matters.

3. Government

The role of government in industrial relations is changing as the industrial environment and management perspectives change. For example, governments around the world followed laissez-faire policies until the 19th century.

Industrial relations issues were left in the hands of workers and employers to settle. Towards the end of the 19th century, however, the government’s attitude turned to a kind of intervention in industrial relations matters, given the changing circumstances of conflict between employees and employers.

Before long, state intervention became a reality. Every day, government intervention in personnel affairs is rampant. Governments try to regulate the relationship between workers and employers, monitoring both groups and trying to bring them together. This relationship is enforced and maintained by labor courts, labor tribunals, Wage Commissions, investigation and inquiry commissions, etcetera.