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Modern Economy, 2012, 3, 118-121 doi:4236/me.31016 Published Online January 2012 ( Initial Thoughts on Building...

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Modern Economy , 2012, 3, 118-121 doi:10.4236/me.2012.31016 Published Online January 2012 ( Initial Thoughts on Building Harmonious Labor Relations * Xiaowen Zhu, Zhihong Zhang, Mingliang Zhang Shandong Administration Institute, Jinan, China Email: {allay, mingliang1, zzhihong_3} Received October 4, 2011; revised November 27, 2011; accepted December 21, 2011 ABSTRACT Labor relation is an important relationship of the modern market economy, and harmonious labor relation is not only conducive to promote social harmony, but also the reflection of the core competitiveness of enterprises, which is also important to the value achievement of workers. Research on the conflicts of labor relations has increasingly presented the features of intervening from the perspective of human resource management. Based on this, this article puts special emphasis on the following three aspects to promote the establishment of harmonious labor relations: strengthen the po- sition of the core indicators of employee satisfaction, design system of remuneration based on benefit-sharing, upgrade cost consciousness of related professionals. Keywords: Labor Relations; Human Resource Management; Employee Satisfaction; Compensation 1. Introduction Labor relations got much attention from researchers and managers, and the intensification of labor relations con- flict has brought heavy pressure to the community and enterprises. As China’s economy continuously transfor- med too rapidly, China’s labor relations have been re- placed by market-oriented labor relations, with the inten- sification of labor relations conflict, such as Foxconn in- cident, has caused widespread concern. In the context of continuous improvement in the quality of workers, sim- ple and crude solutions cannot meet the needs of the times, therefore, how to properly deal with the conflicts of inter- est between employers and employees and to build har- monious labor relations has become an unavoidable real- ity question at the present stage of Chinese society. 1) Harmonious labor relations are a breakthrough in building a harmonious society. The core of harmonious society lay in the harmony among people. An investiga- tion report of Tsinghua university has pointed out that our country was facing a number of social conflicts cur- rently, and building harmonious labor relations was the key point to eliminate “power of evil”, “capital of evil” represented by this trend and to resolve the imbalance in China’s interest, and to establish the labor game mecha- nism. 2) Harmonious labor relations are the core compete- tiveness of enterprises. Labor relations are the most im- portant relationship in the modern market economy, and harmonious labor relations are the request of the modern market economy, which is essential for businesses to es- tablish and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. In order to gain a competitive advantage, enterprises will have to gain cost advantages and personnel advantages. The data have shown that China’s current labor dispute cases were increasing at an annual rate of 30 percent, and labor conflict has become a key factor constraining the effective development of China’s enterprises, and thus af- fected the social harmony [1]. 3) Harmonious labor relations reflect the value pursuit of people-oriented. Premier Wen Jiabao pointed out, to let workers live in dignity. Not only enjoy equal freedom and rights authorized by the law and the Constitution, but also achieve their own comprehensive development un- der the conditions provided by the society, which inclu- ding the power of obtaining wages and benefits, and the freedom of improving the living standards. And harmo- nious labor relations are based on the guarantee of the power of workers, and the achievement of the benefits. 1.1. Literature Review There are actually two aspects of labor relations: one is the legal level, and the other is the management level. China has promulgated many laws to regulate labor rela- tions, but the law cannot solve all labor disputes, so ma- nagement-level communication and coordination become more humanization and more important. The labor rela- tions conflict has been the direct research object of man- agement theory since the beginning of the 19th century [2]. * This research was supported by grants from the Soft Science Research Project of Shandong Province (2011-2012). Modern western scholars believed that the key of labor Copyright © 2012 SciRes . ME
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X. W. ZHU ET AL . 119 relations conflict management was to improve the man- agement level in three aspects: the management frame- work of the enterprise, the labor organization, and the specific policies and practices of human resource manage- ment [3]. Productivity improvements during Industrial Revolution benefitted directly from the findings of early management theory, in which Charles Babell proposed “profit-sharing plan” to resolve the labor relations con- flict, and Taylor’s scientific management theory suggest- ed that employers and employees must be on a profound revolution of thinking, so that “both sides did not focus on the distribution of earnings, and did not regard the earnings distribution as an important thing” [4]. Mayo’s behavioral science school discovered and confirmed that the morale of the workers had significant impact on pro- duction efficiency of enterprises. While the human resources school considered that tak- ing problem-solving tools jointly promoting and integra- tion could effectively alleviate the labor conflicts, such as the wide use of the team [5]. Some scholars have stressed that in the era of knowledge economy, human resources management should vigorously promote the contribution of human capital to the organization [6]. Based on Fells (2003), Abbott (2007) further explored the specific con- tent of the match between labor relations policies and human resource management practices, taking account of labor relations like labor standards, labor disputes, col- lective bargaining, labor welfare, occupational health and safety, etc. into various human resource management pra- ctices, accomplishing related labor relations functions through the practices of human resource management [7], such as the salary system, whether collective agreement signed by trade unions and the company, in which whe- ther the clear salary criteria, such as minimum wage, etc. . Integration trends in the process of labor relations and human resource management in Western countries pro- vided us good references. 1.2. Current Situation of Labor Relations in China China’s labor relations conflict has transited from the hid- den tensions in the planned economy era to a dominant performance under the conditions of market economy. The formation of labor relations is increasingly market- oriented, while labor relations are becoming contract- based, in which, the workers’ consciousness of protecting their right is growing, therefore the number of filing of collective labor disputes and the number of people in- volved maintain a high growth rate. However, it is still outstanding that workers are infringed. Faced with this situation, China’s scholars explore the solutions of labor relations conflict most from the outside level, and explore the construction issues of external mechanisms of labor relations, such as independent trade unions, collective bargaining, and government intervene- tion etc. Many researchers tended to coincidentally men- tion the local government deviation to capital and long- term weak trade unions. Such as Zhou Daohua consider- ed that local governments had some phenomena and problems of vacancies and dislocations in dealing with labor relations, and pursued public powers and policies of economic growth one-sided, which would make work- ers be in a more disadvantage status [8]. Foxconn em- ployees continuous jumping events shocked the whole country, studying the deeper reason of which was the serious absence of social organization, “there is no rou- tine system to maintain the power of social self-orga- nization emerged in response to major social crisis” [9]. However, in the current political, social, and economic circumstances, these mechanisms are difficult to be quick- ly established and play an effective role. In the face of the reality of situations that the number of labor dispute cases received by local labor dispute arbitration institu- tion had raised from 314,000 in 2005 to 690,000 in 2008, seeking to resolve labor conflicts from the enterprise have become a more practical way. Domestic scholars have clearly pointed out that labor relations conflict was the biggest challenge of human re- source management [10]. Concrete embodiments of hu- man resources management are job opportunities, train- ing and development, performance appraisal and other functional activities, but the final effect of the activities is the harmony of labor relations. Harmonious labor rela- tions are also considered as the positive perception of staff’s support to an organization. The main goal of hu- man resource management is to organize the effective- ness or efficiency, and good labor relations environment could play an active role in organizational performance through the emotional commitment and job satisfaction [11]. Harmonious labor relations should be the basic objec- tive of human resource management. China’s human re- sources management has boomed since the 1980s, but there is great contrast between the advanced concept and practical effect: human resource management of the en- terprises are using advanced means to circumvent the law in order to achieve low-cost strategy, which intensifies labor relations conflict, taking the “shortage of migrant workers” since the end of 2009 as an example, even if this problem occurred, in the eyes of many human re- source managers, “migrant workers “ are still just “reser- voirs”, and are rarely mentioned to be treated using such basic evaluation like “staff satisfaction”. 2. New Ideas of Building Harmonious Labor Relations In the construction of the road of harmonious labor rela- Copyright © 2012 SciRes . ME
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