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How do Organisations Work?

Contributions from Employment Relations.

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Sep 14, 2011
from 09:00 AM to 12:30 PM


The Pillar Room, Blackrock

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Part 1 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.

John Geary is Professor of Industrial Relations and Human Resources and Director of Doctoral Studies at UCD School of Business. John holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and worked at Warwick Business School prior to coming to UCD. He was Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence (2001-2002), and has been a visiting professor at the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (2008) and at the Research Centre for Equality, Social Organisation and Performance, Department of Economics, University of Oslo (2010). His recent book (with Bill Roche) is Partnership at Work and his research has appeared in the British Journal of Industrial Relations and Industrial Relations (Berkeley). His research interests include the politics of pay settlement, union organisation and strategy, employee voice, labour law, and employment practices in multinational companies.