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Interpretation

  • R. B. McKersie
  • L. C. Hunter

Abstract

We have now completed our presentation of the main evidence on productivity bargaining experience both at the national level and in particular cases. In the two final chapters we will attempt to stand back a little further from the analysis, partly to reassess the impact of productivity bargaining on the parties to industrial relations and on the structure of their relationships, and partly to explore the future prospects for productivity bargaining.

Keywords

Collective Bargaining Industrial Relation Unit Labour Cost Framework Agreement Centralise Dealing 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    B. C. Roberts and J. Gennard, ‘Trends in Plant and Company Bargaining’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Vol. XVII (July 1970) 160–1.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Department of Employment, Code of Industrial Relations Practice, Consultative Document, June 1971, p. 6.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Incomes Data Services, Study on Unions and Productivity Bargaining, January 1970, p. 3.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Nora Stettner sees increased worker participation as one of the main accomplishments of productivity bargaining: Productivity Bargaining and Industrial Change (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1969) 168–80.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    An example of such rhetoric, or ‘participation on paper’, was embodied in the recommendation of the National Joint Advisory Council to the Minister of Labour in 1947, which proposed that consultative machinery be set up ‘for the regular exchange of views between employers and workers on production matters’. For a discussion of such synthetic joint consultation — what he terms the ‘unitary view’ of industrial relations, see A. Fox, Industrial Sociology and Industrial Relations, Royal Commission Research Paper No. 3 (London: H.M.S.O., 1966).Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    For an analysis of various participation modes, see A. Globerson, ‘Spheres and Levels of Employee Participation in Organizations’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. VIII (July 1970) 252–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 21.
    Turner makes the point this way: ‘It is probably a sound observation that, other things being equal, the more decentralized the bargaining system, the faster wages are likely to move in whatever direction they are moving anyway. That is why national agreements were so important in the inter-war depressions; because they reacted less promptly than wage-rates determined at the workplace level, they set a “floor” to the general tendency of wages to fall.’ H. A. Turner, ‘Collective Bargaining and the Eclipse of Income Policy: Retrospect, Prospect and Possibilities’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. VIII (July 1970) 206.Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    Engineering Employers’ Federation, Wage Inflation and Employment (London: E.E.F. Research Dept, 1971).Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    These generalisations have been adapted from several studies: A. L. Stinchcombe, ‘Bureaucratic and Craft Administration of Production; A Comparative Study’, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. IV (September 1959) 168–87, and’ social Structure and Organizations’, in Handbook of Organizations, ed. J. G. March (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965) 165–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. H. A. Turner, Trade Union Growth, Structure and Policy (London: Allen and Unwin, 1962).Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    Clegg identifies growth of unit size and development of professional management as two key factors behind the emergence of rules and bureaucratisation. H. A. Clegg, The System of Industrial Relations in Great Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 1970) 158.Google Scholar
  12. 27.
    Space does not permit a discussion of this historical evolution from the craft to the administrative system on an industry-by-industry basis. The engineering industry represents one such case and several studies clearly document the gradual transition over the last fifty or sixty years. See J. B. Jefferys, The Story of the Engineers, 1800–1945 (London 1946). For the cotton industry, see H. A. Turner, Trade Union Growth, Structure and Policy.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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