Theories of Employment Relationship

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Traditional ideas have been adapted to suit the changing working climate, and industrial relations continue to change. The new technologies also taken management and negotiation of workers to the company stage. In addition, women continue to become successful and take leadership positions in the business sector in spite of their gender disparities. The management of human resources is becoming an integral aspect of corporations. The role and obligations of human resources management in companies in the involvement of women are obvious in Australian industries, both of which are significant and credible.The employers hold strong opinions that their Human capital is a key factor for organisational growth. Women are now present in every field and every level of employment. The need for having a higher number of women in the workforce has increased. Traditionally, people were forced to accept their place in the social order, which has since changed.

Traditional Economic Theory

In traditional economic theory, employees acquired the duty based on two very distinct roles. The first role was based on the fact that the employees were the owners of the factors of production that is the labour and they sell the same for a given price (Mark, Waring, Macneil, & Rea 2014). This made them passive factors of production employed by the owners of the industries and were therefore used to ensure maximum profits. These views of employment ignore many factors such as the actual management of employees. However, the view has since changed, and a new theory that re-introduces various concepts and realities into the economic theory has been adapted (Mark, Waring, Macneil, & Rea 2014). Currently, organisations in Australia have realized the values of their employees and have focused on ensuring they provide conducive and favourable working conditions that cater for the welfare of the employees. This increases the productivity of their employees and consequently that of the firm (Mark, Waring, Macneil, & Rea 2014).

The laws that are made by the Australian government today concerning employment contracts require employers to take care of the welfare of the employees. This is particularly so when it comes to the welfare of the women in employment. The employers must provide favourable working condition and a satisfactory working environment for their employees where those who act contrary to the law face the risk of litigation.

Unitary Theory

The Unitarian theory assumes that the values that hold the workplace conflict are not inevitable characteristics in employment relations (Bray et al., 2009). The conflicts are considered to be an abbreviation of a relationship that could lead to cooperation. This is because employers in today’s workplaces ensure that the individuals engaged in the conflict have the best interest of the entities. Therefore, managers must ensure they pay attention and eliminate any sources of conflict that may arise within companies. One major factor that may lead to conflicts is the issue of gender equality (Lakhani, Kuruvilla, & Avgar, 2013). Women for a long time have not been considered as productive as the men in organisational setting. However, the law in Australian has been set to ensure the country makes significant steps in promoting gender equality. Discrimination of women in the workplace could be a factor that would lead to conflicts. Therefore, the management should ensure conflict is avoided by providing equal and fair promotional chances for all the employees. They must ensure they have a considerable number of women both in top management positions and other levels of administration. This will allow them to create gender equality in their employment positions and create major benefits for firms through the empowerment of women in the society. Research has shown that businesses have major benefits to the business through having a diverse senior management.

Economist Theory

Industrial relations analysis is traditionally based on the consideration of how actors in entities engage with and shape regulatory frameworks and how the frameworks affect the determination of wages and conditions at work (Lakhani, Kuruvilla, & Avgar, 2013). The regulatory and institutional makeup is significant factors in gender equality outcomes (Lakhani, Kuruvilla, & Avgar, 2013). The government of Australia has therefore reviewed and inquired into the architecture to contribute to a sense of policy flux despite the few substantive changes. These policy developments are pertinent to women workers; some of the changes experienced are the inclusion of parental leave scheme, an increase of the domestic violence scheme, and the implication of the lifetime income gap for women. Establishments have focused on recognizing, retaining and developing women in the society based on scarcity in global talent being experienced today.

Scientific Management Theory

Scientific management theory as a traditional theory of relation theory consists of different theories (Salmon, 2000). The first theory assumes that employees are immature and they ensure they avoid work whenever possible with limited, self-centred aspirations. This interests conflict with those of companies and thus the need for the management to come up with measures and laws that are rigid to limit the workplace activities of the employees (Salmon, 2000). Applying this theory requires the management to reduce internal tension by applying the relevant strategies. This theory helps us understand the employment relations employed in Australia today.

The organisations in the country ensure they retain sufficient knowledge about the structure of their entities and has the power to direct employees as it deems fit (Salmon, 2000). However, if the managers do not carefully consider this theory and the methods they apply, they face legal implications. This is possible in situations where they may infringe on the right of the employees as provided by the law. For instance, it is mandatory for firms to provide paid maternity leave. However, some of the managers may decide to not to pay or even suck the women based on the idea that they have self-centred aspirations (Salmon, 2000). This is evident traditionally where for decades, women have struggled to ensure they survive in the corporate world. However, organisations made it difficult for them through lack of maternity leaves forcing most of them to terminate their promising careers ones they have children or chose not to have children. This oppressed the women and explained the reasons for the small number of women in the corporate world. However, the government has come up with laws that mandate employers to provide paid maternity leave for the women workers. These laws protect women and aid them to become successful individuals in the society.

Traditional Classical Economist Views

Traditionally, the labour market was dominated by classical economist views, which included free and unregulated markets for labor (Mark, Waring, Macneil, & Rea 2014). This lead to social injustices and inequality as labor lacked the authority to bargain with the employers. The dominant position of the employer was another hindering factor where the employer was termed as the master and the employee as the servant (Edwards, 2009). However, employment relations have since evolved, and a degree of bargaining power has been given to the employees by the labour market regulations. The state, therefore, came up with protective laws and dispute settlement mechanisms that are applied in today’s labor market. Further, employees through voluntary action protect themselves and increase their bargaining power through freedom of association and the state backs them by guaranteeing their rights (Edwards, 2009). Trade unions have been established to protect and give the employees a bargaining power. The workers can advocate for their rights and those of other employees despite the differences in their employers. This has improved the effectiveness of employment relations by ensuring that all parties involved are contented and thus increasing the productivity levels in organisations (Edwards, 2009).

Additionally, the actions of individuals have a great impact on gender equality outcomes in the work environment (Perry-Jerkings & Wadsworth, 2017). The activities of individuals in the workplace and their interaction with other institutional forces shape the broader regulatory environment. The relations between individuals have a great effect on the productivity of employees (Perry-Jerkings, & Wadsworth, 2017). The relations influence workplace happiness where a positive connection is established between internal contacts and workplace environment in Australian institutions. The employees ensure they support the women in the industry by advocating for their rights whenever they are violated. Issues such as the sexual harassment of women have greatly decreased due to the actions of other individuals in the organisational setting. Based on the concerns raised, the government has successfully managed to come up with laws that protect the interests of the employees.


Traditional relations theories help to understand employment relations in the current Australia, especially concerning women workers. The various theories have since evolved to accommodate the changing thoughts and opinions regarding the treatment of employees in the work environment. The interests of the employees are protected by the laws set by the Australian government and employers have been forced to ensure they adhere to them. In traditional patriarch communities in Australia however, keeping women working has been difficult. The changes in the work-force demography and wars among employers to attract and retain the most skilled employees have made companies in Australian to work on improving the existing policies and facilities for women. They have established projects aimed at managing employee talents to survive in the competitive business world.

The application of employee relationship Management process to help companies effectively manages interactions with their employees help them to achieve their goals. This is based on the current theories, which proclaim that happy employees are productive employees. Therefore, successful businesses have succeeded in ensuring they manage relations to build lasting satisfaction of their employees. They understand that the people are the most important part of any business since they allow the business to function effectively and smoothly. It also ensures conflicts within firms are minimized to positively contribute to the output of the business. Consequently, companies need to understand the value of employment relations, especially women workers for them to be successful in the modern business environment.


Bray et al (2009). The Study of Employment Relations: Analytic Tools.

Edwards, P. (Ed.). (2009). Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice. John Wiley and Sons.

Lakhani, T., Kuruvilla, S., & Avgar, A. (2013). From the firm to the network: Global value chains and employment relations theory. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 51(3), 440-472

Mark, B., Waring, P., McNeil, J.,& Rea Cooper. (2014). Employment relations: Theory and practice. McGraw Hill.

Perry-Jerkings, M., & Wadsworth, S.M. (2017). Work and Family Research and theory: Review, Analysis from, and Ecological perspective. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9(2), 219-237.

Salmon, M. (2000). Industrial relations: theory and Practice. Pearson Education.

August 09, 2021
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