Conflict for Mutual Gains?
21 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2007
This paper adopts Walton and McKersie's Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations to examine the outcomes of industrial relations negotiations to implement team working. Negotiations from 21 departments across two integrated steelworks are classified into four negotiation patterns, each producing different outcomes from team working for managers and employees. Managers secured lower manning and increased productivity in negotiations both in departments characterized throughout by cooperation and those characterized by conflict. However, mutual gains were secured only where union negotiators pursued conflict tactics during bargaining. In those departments where union negotiators adopted more conflictive bargaining tactics, more employees reported pay increases and greater satisfaction with team working agreements, compared with employees in more cooperative departments. Mixed bargaining approaches in other departments were less successful, particularly for union negotiators.
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