Employee Relations
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Human Resource Management in a Business Context

Human Resource Management in a Business Context, 3rd edition
by Alan Price
 Human Resource Management in a Business Context provides an international focus on the theory and practice of people management. A thorough and comprehensive overview of all the key aspects of HRM, including articles from HRM Guide and other sources, key concepts, review questions and case studies for discussion and analysis.
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Employee Relations
Negotiation and Bargaining

   
  The negotiating process. Negotiation is an ancient art. (...) It is a form of decision-making where two or more parties approach a problem or situation wanting to achieve their own objectives - which may or may not turn out to be the same. In the employee relations arena, negotiation usually takes place within the collective bargaining environment.

Participants enter the process with widely different views; some -typically on the employee side - will view it as being fundamental to industrial democracy, fairness and good business conduct; others see it as a barrier to efficiency - a view more prevalent on the management side. The latter view sees negotiation as a compromise and second best to winning - possibly worse than giving in! 

 
   Models of bargaining. There are several models of bargaining, the clearest of which was proposed by Lyons in 1988:

Initial positioning.Both parties set out their positions and requirements in an emphatic, firm way aimed at giving the impression that there is no possibility of budging from these positions. The situation can appear hopeless at this stage.

Testing. The next stage is a less formal probing of the other side's demands, testing out which are really unmovable and which might bend in the right circumstances.

Concession. Some tentative proposals and concessions are exchanged on which detailed negotiations can take place.

Settlement. Finally agreement is reached and the package of new terms is settled and actioned.

Pages 397-398 of Human Resource Management in a Business Context provide further discussion with particular reference to the skills required for effective bargaining.

 
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