A Preliminary View

  • R. B. McKersie
  • L. C. Hunter


Productivity bargaining was essentially a product of the British industrial relations situation in the 1960s. At the time of writing, some productivity agreements are still in operation and others are still being negotiated, but it would be fair to state that the first flush of enthusiasm has passed, leaving in its place a good measure of disillusionment and criticism. In view of this, and the fact that a great deal has already been written on the rise of productivity bargaining and its application in British industry, why should it be necessary to add further to the literature?


Collective Bargaining Payment System Industrial Relation Incentive Payment Unit Labour Cost 
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  1. 3.
    The outstanding description and analysis of the events at Fawley is that of Allan Flanders, The Fawley Productivity Agreements (London: Faber and Faber, 1964).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    According to one authority, ‘the novelty of the 1960 productivity agreements at Esso’s Fawley refinery was not that this was the first occasion on which work practices were mentioned in an agreement, or that it was the first exchange of alterations in work practices for increases in pay. What was new was the negotiation with workshop representatives of all the unions concerned of a series of changes in work practices throughout the plant and their embodiment in a formal agreement with the unions’. H. A. Clegg, The System of Industrial Relations in Great Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    For evidence on the limitations of employers’ associations in respect of plant negotiations, see Royal Commission Research Paper No. 7, Employers’ Associations (London: H.M.S.O., 1967).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See Chapter 10 below. For a recent study identifying good and bad features, see N.B.P.I. Report No. 65, Payment by Results Systems, Cmnd 3627 (London: H.M.S.O., 1968).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    William Allen, ‘Is Britain a Half-Time Country?’ Sunday Times (1 March 1964).Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    See Vernon Jensen, Hiring of Dock Workers and Employment Practices in the Ports of New York, Liverpool, London, Rotterdam and Marseilles (Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1964).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Shipbuilding Inquiry Committee, 1965–6, Report, Cmnd 2937 (London: H.M.S.O., 1966).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    George Cattell, ‘Industrial Relations and Efficiency’, Industrial Society Journal January 1967, p. 27.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    E. F. Denison, ‘Economic Growth’, in R. E. Caves and Associates, Britain’s Economic Prospects, a Brookings Institution study (London: Allen & Unwin, 1968), 253. The other countries were the U.S.A., Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and IGoogle Scholar
  10. 14.
    W. E. J. McCarthy and S. R. Parker, Shop Stewards and Workshop Relations, Royal Commission Research Paper No. 10 (London: H.M.S.O., 1968) 53.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    Garth I. Mangum, ‘The Interaction of Contract Administration and Contract Negotiations in the Basic Steel Industry’, Labor Law Journal (September 1961), Vol. 12, No. 9, 857.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    F. Zweig, Productivity and Trade Unions (Oxford: Blackwell, 1951) 17 and 18.Google Scholar
  13. 29.
    Royal Commission on the Press, Report, Cmnd 1811 (London: H.M.S.O., 1962) 225.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. B. McKersie and L. C. Hunter 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. McKersie
    • 1
  • L. C. Hunter
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State School of Industrial and Labor RelationsCornell UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of GlasgowUK

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