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Has Conflict Disappeared from the Workplace?

Work Relations in the Contemporary Workplace.

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Sep 14, 2011
from 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM


The Pillar Room, Blackrock

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Part 2 of Organisation as Control, Consensus and Conflict.

This module seeks to understand the organisation of control, consent and conflict within the organisation. It examines how management seeks to gain employees’ co-operation for the organisation of the workplace and with what consequences. The material draws principally from an employment relations perspective. Organisational and transaction cost economics often depict the organisation as one wherein the actors share common interests and the task of management is one of co-ordination and organisation as it seeks to cope with internal and external challenges. Since management is presumed to be acting in the general interest, the organisation is thus conceived as a unitary entity. The employment relations perspective questions this assumption by drawing attention to the possibility that the concerns of managers and managed may diverge, if not fundamentally, then at least in part. The employment relations perspective has its roots in the sociology of work, and it draws extensively on case study research using both qualitative and quantitative data. The module will critically review the approaches used as well as the complexities surrounding research of an ethnographic form.

Paul Edwards is Professor of Employment Relations at Birmingham Business School. He was previously at Warwick Business School, and was Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. Currently an Associate Editor of Human Relations, he becomes the journal's editor-in-chief in 2012. Research interests include personnel policy and practice in multinational firms and employment relations in small firms. His books include Conflict at Work and (with Judy Wajcman) The Politics of Working Life.