4 Broad theoretical perspectives. i. Unitary : only one source of authority ie management - they own & they control; conflict is unnecessary & TU are avoidable. ii. Pluralist: Organization composed of different sectional groups & interests, objectives and leadership; common interest and mutual dependence are necessary for survival - "conflict is necessary, but it can be and need to be managed & resolved".

iii. Radical or Marxist:
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Production system is private owned and motivated by profit. Managers are agent of owners. They try to control over production. Class struggle and conflict is necessary for social change. Social change (revolution) is require to end the disparity between those who own capital and who supply labour. It sees industrial conflict synonymous with political and social conflict. It consider pluralism as mere illusion. Conflict is inevitable in capitalist system. Annihilate capitalist class to establish socialist industrial system where there will be no conflict.

iv. Trusteeship approach: MK Gandhi:



Trustee is one who holds property in trust for other. ie. Industry / manager for workers and society. They will use and expend only that require for personal minimum need. Not for private profit but for greatest good of all. Gandhi believed that people should keep minimum of wealth for themselves to be able to lead a life that millions lead and give up the rest to be held in trust for the greatest good of all.



- IR as a subsystem of society, distinct from, but overlapping other subsystems. One of the significant theories of industrial labor relations was put forth by John Dunlop in the 1950s. According to Dunlop industrial relations system consists of three agents ± management, workers and government agencies. These actors and their organizations are located within an environment ± environment ± defined in terms of technology, labor and product markets, and the distribution of power in wider society as it impacts upon individuals and workplace. Within this environment, actors interact with each other, negotiate and use economic/political power in process of determining rules that constitute the output of the industrial relations system.

He proposed that three parties²employers, labor unions, and government-- are the key actors in a modern industrial relations system.  He also argued that none of these institutions could act in an autonomous or independent fashion.  Instead they were shaped, at least to some extent, by their market, technological and political contexts.  industrial relations is a social sub system subject to three environmental constraints- the markets, distribution of power in society and technology. 

Dunlop's model identifies three key factors to be considered in conducting an analysis of the management-labuor relationship:  Environmental or external economic, technological, political, legal and social forces that impact employment relationships.  Characteristics and interaction of the key actors in the employment relationship: labor, management, and government.  


to Dunlop there are 4 interrelated elements comprising : i. Certain actor,  ii. Certain context,  iii. An ideology- which bind the IR system together and  iv. A body of rules. 


Inputs Actors Contexts Ideology

Bargaining Conciliation Arbitration Lawmaking, etc



Feedback Fig. Dunlop's Framework of IR System

1. The Actors 

actors are:  (i). Managers & their representatives;  (ii). Workers and their organizations;  (iii). Specialized govt agencies (& specialized pvt agencies created by first two actors) 1. concerned with workers, enterprises, and their relationship.  - First two directly related to each other

ii. The Contexts 

contexts are :  (i) the technological characteristics of workplace and work community;  (ii) labour and products markets factor or budgetary constrain and  (iii) locus and distribution of power in the larger society.

iii. The Ideology   

A set of ideas and beliefs commonly held by the actors that helps to bind or to integrate the system together as an entity. The ideology of an industrial relations system is a body of common ideas that defines the role and place of each actor and the ideas that each actor holds towards the place and the function of the others in the system. The ideology or philosophy of a stable system involves a congruence or compatibility among these views and the rest of the system.

iv. Network or web of rules
The factors such as ± concern procedures for establishing rules, the substantive rules themselves, and the procedures for deciding their application ± are critical in an industrial relations system.  These may be expressed in a variety of forms. Such as : regulation and policies on management hierarchy¶ law of any workers hierarchy, the regulations, decrees, decisions, awards or orders of government agencies , CB agreements and the customs and traditions of the workplace and work community.  In any particular system the rules may be incorporate in number of forms; they may be written, an oral tradition, or customary practices. 

Some limitations in Dunlop theory (System framework) 


Dunlop¶s theory has certain shortcomings. For example- Actors in IR are not just managers, workers, and govt. With liberalization and growing environmental concerns Now environmental groups, consumers and community also play critical roles in IR processes and outcomes Also Dunlop talk about role of ³his´ actors but not people. In IRs, relationship are established by primarily by and between people. Therefore, Behavioural aspects like human motivations and preferences cannot be ignored. Improvement in Dunlop theory: Kochan et al - Strategic choice framework

System Framework modified 


There have been some modification and improvements to Dunlop framework. However, non of them has seriously contested or altered the original framework. Modification was directed to the areas where Dunlop did not paid much attention. For instance, the strategic choice framework of Kochan, et al integrates the traditional theoretical framework on industrial relations with key concepts on strategy, structure, and decision-making. Kochan et al. also proposed that industrial relations activities among the three principle social partners take place at three places: i. top tier: strategic decision-making; ii.Middle tier: collective bargaining and / or personnel policymaking; and iii. Bottom tier: workplace, individual and organizational relationship.

Three-Tier Structure of Industrial Relations activity by ± Kochan et al.

Level Long term strategy and policy-making Collective bargaining and personnel policy Workplaceindividualorganization relationships

Employers Business, investment, and human resource strategies Personnel policies and negotiation strategies

Unions Political, representational, and organizing strategies Collective bargaining strategies

Government Macroeconomic and social policies Labour laws and administration

Supervision, job Contract design, and work administration, organization job design, and work organization

Labour laws and workers¶ rights

D. Internalists or Implant Theories:
These theories were contributed by behavioural scientists who were concerned with the patterns of human behaviour in work situations a. Human Relation School:  represented by Elton Mayo - 1927 ± 1932 conducted Howthronne studies.  The central argument of human relation school is that ³key to workers morale, high productivity and industrial peace lies in the quality of human relations in industry´.  

b. Behaviour School:
According to this school ³worker¶s degree of attachment to work and their morale are closely linked with fulfillment of the basic motives and security and participation´. conflict between workers and managers is caused by lack of understanding of interpersonal factors - personality differences and irrational behaviour Effective communication would help the parties to develop accurate perceptions and understanding each other¶s needs such as safety and social needs (Maslaw) even though their physiological needs are met. McGragor also mentioned that employees should get opportunities at work to satisfy higher level needs, otherwise their behaviour will be affected. McGragor has developed the principle of integration in respect of participative management whereby individual workers can achieve their goals by directing their efforts to the success of organization.     


to the behavioural scientists, the issues in industrial relations have their origin in the differences in the perceptions of management, unions and workers.  The differences arises due to personalities, attitudes.  Similarly, factors like motivation, leadership, group goals v. individual goals, etc. are responsible for industrial conflicts.

Gandhian Approach to Industrial Relations 

peaceful coexistence of capital and labour. Trusteeship implies cooperation between capital and labour. redressal of demands through collective bargaining. Strike to be avoided - only last measure through non violent methods. Workers should take recourse to voluntary arbitration

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