Reconsidering frames of reference: implications for workplace dispute settlement

Reconsidering frames of reference: implications for workplace dispute settlement
Document type
Conference Paper
Author(s)
Van Gramberg, Bernadine; Teicher, Julian; Bamber, Greg
Publisher
British Academy of Management
Date of publication
9 September 2014
Series
British Academy of Management Conference Proceedings 2014
Subject(s)
People management: all aspects of managing people
Collection
Business and management
Material type
Reports

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[Authors' original abstract]

In the post-1945 years many scholars and policy-makers focussed attention on the study of strikes, particularly their causes, conduct and consequences. But with the decreasing incidence of strikes in many countries, particularly beginning in the 1980s, their agendas shifted to other topics. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in industrial conflict, particularly individualised workplace disputes (e.g. claims of bullying and harassment). In this paper we re-consider Fox’s (1966) unitarist and pluralist frames of reference and examine their contribution to an understanding of the management of and settlement of workplace conflict. We use the two frames of reference because they are relevant to the contemporary practice of HRM and employment relations. Our contributions include a consideration of the role of individual agency and the importance of workplace justice in the settlement of disputes. We also draw conclusions in terms of conflict settlement theory and practice.

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