Business / Which Theory, Or Theories Of Industrial Conflict, If Any, Can Explain The State Of Industrial Conflict In Singapore. Justify Your Answer.

Which Theory, Or Theories Of Industrial Conflict, If Any, Can Explain The State Of Industrial Conflict In Singapore. Justify Your Answer.

Autor:  Huiiru  19 April 2012
Tags:  industrial relation
Words: 1570   |   Pages: 7
Views: 745

Industrial conflict refers to all expressions of dissatisfaction within the employment relations system, especially those pertaining to the terms and conditions within the employment contract. An industrial conflict is defined as a withdrawal of labour by a group of employees, or a refusal by an employer to allow workers to work. The industrial relations system in Singapore has often been described as a tripartite system with the government playing the key coordinating/ balancing role in labour- management relations (Rowley and Benson, 2000). In Singapore industrial relations, systems tend to be more pluralistic in nature. In reviewing Petzall theories on industrial conflict, these are the three theories that are closest to Singapore industrial conflict.

Industrial conflict can be classified in different groups such as overt, covert, individual, collective, proactive and defensive. Examples of Overt Action can include lockouts, strikes, bans, work-to-rule and transfers. Covert Action includes absenteeism, sabotage, turnover rates and exclusion from decision making. It also includes different perspective of conflict such as pluralistic and unitary. Organization that perceives with unitary perspective reckons that with successful management policies, the workplace will be characterised by harmony and conflict is perceived as disruptive. Some key forms of conflict used by unitary approach are absenteeism and labour turnover. On the other hand, pluralist view suggests that conflict should be resolved by the government and independent through the industrial tribunals.

As industrial conflict is classified into different groups, industrial disputes belong to overt action and it is an organised conflict. Overt action is highly visible, direct and aimed at gaining maximum awareness. It is usually collective in nature and it involves groups of employees or trade unions. Industrial disputes occur when there's a difference of view between management and workers on the terms of employment. The management and the workmen try to pressurize each other when an industrial dispute occurs. This may cause the management resort to lockouts and workers resort to strikes. However, strikes are the most common form of expressing industrial conflict.

Looking at the theories regarding strikes as a product of industrialisation, Ross and Hartman's (1960) theory is the one of the important theories. It states that industrial relations system is influence by the pattern of strikes in an ...