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CHAPTER_7 - CHAPTER 7 Employee Relations Purpose and...

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CHAPTER 7 Employee Relations 0Purpose and Perspective This chapter focuses on the delicate balance of power, responsibility, and accountability that resides in the relationships a company develops with employees. First, we explore the many issues related to the social responsibilities employers have to their employees, including the employee-employer contract, workforce reduction, wages and benefits, labor unions, health and safety, equal opportunity, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing, diversity, and work/life balance. In these sections, we discuss a number of significant laws that affect companies’ human resources programs. Finally, we look at the concept of employer of choice and what it takes to earn that designation. 0Lecture Outline I0. Employee Stakeholders There are many issues that may seem subtle and, at times, unimportant but are related to the responsibilities that employees, government, and other stakeholders expect of employing organizations. II0. Responsibilities to Employees0 A0. Economic Issues0 10. Employee-Employer Contract0 a0. There has been a dramatic shift in the contract that exists between employee and employer. b0. A psychological contract is largely unwritten and includes the beliefs, perceptions, expectations, and obligations that comprise an agreement between individuals and the organizations that employ them.0 (1)0 When promises and expectations are not met, a psychological contract breach occurs and employees may become less loyal, inattentive to work, or otherwise dissatisfied with the employment situation. (2)0 When employers present information in a credible, competent, and trustworthy manner, employees are more likely to be supportive of and committed to the organization. c0. The relationship between employer and employee has evolved greatly since the late 1800s.0 (1)0 Until the early 1900s, the relationship between employer and employee was best characterized as a master-servant relationship. (2)0 In the 1920s and 1930s, employees assumed a relationship with employers that was more balanced in terms of power, responsibilities, and obligations. (3)0 The 1950s brought criticism of white-collar work as being draining on employees’ time, energy, and personalities. (4)0 Organizational researchers and managers in the 1960s began to question authoritarian behavior and consider participatory management styles that assumed employees were motivated and eager to assume responsibility for work. (5)0 A study done in the 1970s confirmed that employees wanted interesting work and a chance to demonstrate their skills through increased participation, freedom, and democracy at work.
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(6)0 By the 1980s, a family analogy with a focus on employee welfare and business ethics was being used to describe the workplace. (7)0 The total quality management (TQM) movement increased empowerment and teamwork on the job throughout the 1990s and led the charge toward workplaces simultaneously devoted to employee achievement at work and at home.
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