Implications for the Future

  • R. B. McKersie
  • L. C. Hunter


The purpose of this chapter is to look ahead and to consider, for the next decade, what are the prospects for productivity bargaining as weighed against those for other approaches that might be addressed to the same set of problems. The main burden of the chapter is, therefore, to assess the present standing of productivity bargaining, and to observe the emergence of other possible approaches. The chapter closes with a view on the role of productivity bargaining in the United States and in Britain in the foreseeable future.


Technological Change Collective Bargaining Industrial Relation Income Policy Capital Intensity 
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    George Cattell, The Times (3 July 1969)Google Scholar
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    Hawkins also presents an example of the same calculating orientation in his Case Z. See K. Hawkins, ‘Productivity Bargaining; A Reassessment’, Industrial Relations Journal, Spring 1971, pp. 10–34.Google Scholar
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    One of the clearest statements of this is quoted by E. O. Smith, in Productivity Bargaining (London: Pan, 1971). In the view of one junior manager at the Steel Company of Wales, the Green Book productivity proposals were superfluous: ‘The existing labour force could have remained if only management could have organised itself in a more efficient manner. Involving junior management, but at the same time maintaining the necessary amount of authority, seems to be a growing problem in industry’ (p. 414).Google Scholar
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    It is, of course, difficult to develop a precise estimate of the portion of the labour force covered by the craft system. As one approximation of the craft complement in an industry, one might take the percentage of apprentices. If one considers 2.5 or more per cent apprentices employed in an industry as an indication of a substantial craft element, then the following industries in Britain would qualify: metal manufacture, metal goods, engineering and electrical goods, vehicles, shipbuilding and marine engineering, instruments, printing, timber and furniture, and construction. These industries together constitute about 25 per cent of total employment in Britain. In the U.S.A., only construction and shipbuilding meet the criterion of minimally 2.5 per cent apprentices, which makes the total employment organised by the craft system somewhat less than 10 per cent, an estimate that was also obtained by Stinchcombe, by using a different estimating procedure. See A. L. Stinchcombe, ‘Social Structure and Organizations’, in Handbook of Organizations, ed. J. G. March (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1965), p. 166.Google Scholar
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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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