Union Impact on Management and HRM Policies

Union Impact on Management and HRM Policies

Unions play an instrumental role in socio-economic and political change. However, even

when they play a bigger role within the wider society, their fundamental work remains centered

at the workplace. Unions’ major engagement is with management even though their actions

may involve politics, lobbying, and other community work at both national and international

levels. Therefore, when examining what unions do at the work place it is pertinent to analyze

union impact on management and HRM policies. Management and HRM policies are critical to

outcomes like productivity, competitive advantage, and customer service among others.

Contrary to popular thinking unions do not engage the management exclusively on employees’

welfare alone, they can have positive impacts on management and HRM policies and practice in

the workplace. For Instance, unions can contribute towards improvement of efficiency by

pressing the management to make tighter work production expectations and accountability so as

to maintain profits when facing higher wages. In short, unions can have both positive and

negative impacts on the management and HRM policies and thus efficiency. The purpose of

this paper is to identify and discuss both positive and negative union impact on management and

HRM policies.

Union at the Workplace

The main purpose of virtually all unions is to improve and/or maintain conditions of their

work. Conventionally, their functions include negotiating wages, employment rules, compliant

measures, rules regulating employing, sacking and promotion of employees, benefits, safety and

workplace policies. All agreements bargained by a union leadership bind on its members and

the management and in some instances on non-member employees. Therefore, unions’

activities have serious effects on the management and HRM policies and practice. It is important

to note that two major dynamic processes provide a framework for union impact on management

and HRM policies. First, the creation of the fundamental preferences of the parties involved.

Second, contact between the concerned parties as every one attempts to pursue its objectives.

When unions organize workers, they tend to cause an increment of wages. For this reason, in

popular thinking union inclinations have been seen largely in terms of getting more for the



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